Clearwire may become the first wireless carrier to offer a globally compatible mobile device. The wide variety of technology standards and spectrum in the LTE market has led to carriers using different spectrums that are not compatible with each other. Clearwire, whose LTE network is to be launched, is relying on the TDD- LTE spectrum for its network, a departure from the more common FDD- LTE that other major US carriers like AT&T and Verizon use. Large carriers in China, India, Japan and Europe, such as China Mobile and Bharti- Airtel have echoed Clearwire’s choice of the TDD- LTE network. These carriers may consider using this technology in their own regional LTE markets, thus making any Clearwire mobile compatible with the networks in these countries.
Standardized global compatibility is not yet a reality as Clearwire still has to launch its LTE network next year. Clearwire’s CEO Erik Prusch believes that the potential for a globally compatible network is very much present. “You had skepticism around the ecosystem and whether it would catch on,” Prusch told in an interviewer here at CTIA 2012. “But now you’re seeing some larger players put their might behind it.”
“It will take a while, but the potential is there,” Prusch said, adding that the band Clearwire is operating on is the most globally harmonized out there. Clearwire plans the launch of its LTE network on 5000 cellular sites by the middle of next year and will have the first LTE devices on the network also released next year. The company looks to act as a wholesaler of wireless service, marketing it for new businesses or providing additional wireless capacity to larger carriers like Verizon and AT&T who want to ease traffic off their own congested networks.