Clearwire isn't the latest Google acquisition. The Internet search giant, though, has joined a group of blue-chip corporate investors in the new Sprint-Nextel bailout of Clearwire -- a move that will save WiMax and further Google's innovations in mobile search.
Clearwire and Sprint Nextel said today they plan to merge their wireless broadband units to create a $14.55 billion communications company. Sprint Nextel will own a majority equity stake (51 percent) in the new joint venture.
Clearwire, will receive a $3.2 billion cash infusion from Google Inc., Intel, Comcast., Bright House Networks and newly spun-off Time Warner Cable. The investment is based on a target price of $20 per Clearwire share and will give the companies a 22 percent stake in the new venture.
The new Clearwire JV will be headed by Ben Wolff, Clearwire's current CEO , who said in a statement that the merger's "expanded relationships with Intel (INTC) and Google (GOOG) will expand our vision of an open network." He added that the partners will enables Clearwire "to tap into some of the greatest innovators of our time."
Clearwire, a startup founded by cellular pioneer Craig McCaw, is shooting for a U.S. W9Max network of 120 million to 140 million people by the end of 2010.
So here's what we want to know: "How fast will WiMax be?"
Clearwire's first mobile WiMax network (being built in Portland) boasts speeds of 5 to 6 mbps on the downlink and 2 to 3 mbps on the uplink while going down the freeway.
Wow. That's not your father's Internet Highway.
That's the frackin' Internet Autobahn.