I just read an analysis of the Clearwire / Sprint Mobile WiMAX deal that was so flawed that I decided to break radio silence and offer my thoughts.
It's gonna work. McCaw's gonna make it work. McCaw has enough star power that he can rope in other players and with this deal, he has leverage of the controlling the vast majority of US 2.5 GHz spectrum and the certainty that if Mobile WiMAX is going to happen on any appreciable scale in the US, it's going to happen, or not, through McCaw.
Those preferred system vendors that Sprint selected? That doesn't mean squat now. A classic play out of the McCaw wireless playbook is to pit multiple system vendors against each other. That'll certainly happen now - again, McCaw has the leverage now, not Sprint. The wisest will do business with McCaw... but will count their fingers after the handshake.
Why will "New Clearwire" work? One of the biggest reasons is that Mobile WiMAX really is different. It's the first wireless system of the Internet era, built for providing Internet Access, that's actually designed to be deployed on a large scale. The wireless telephony systems have, yes, been "extended" for Broadband, but at the core those systems have all the overhead, expense, and inefficiency of the telephony network. Mobile WiMAX is to wireless telephony (cellular) what Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is to Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS).