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Slow Going for Clearwire, But CEO's Optimistic

With about 700,000 customers and slow increases in revenue per customer, Clearwire will require more investment and greater reach to meet its potential. The company's CEO is optimistic, though, saying he expects to show a profit within 18 months, and provide coverage to more than 120 million people.

LAS VEGAS -- Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse and Clearwire CEO William Morrow took turns crushing self-serving softball questions tossed their way rway by CTIA President Steve Largent during a Q&A session masquerading as the second keynote session of the CTIA Wireless show.

Hesse didn't waste any time reminding attendees of what he called Sprint Nextel's "very strong spectrum position" and the fact that his company was the first of the major carriers to embrace 4G technologies and the WiMAX standard that it hopes will forever change the way consumers and businesses view their voice and data plans.

"Just as the economics of voice got better, with 4G we're going to produce a gigabyte of video content cheaper and give it to people easier," Hesse said. "Two years from now, the rate plans discussion will change from the number of minutes in a bucket or the number of text messages in your plan to how many gigabytes will be in your bucket. That will determine the pricing tiers and market segments."

Read "CTIA: Clearwire, 4G Mobile Network Take Center Stage" at Enterprise Mobile Today