Wondering what's next for Clearwire? You probably aren't alone. The company that launched with WiMAX
, and then sided with LTE
, is still in a state of transition, and the Sprint tie-in makes things even more complicated / interesting. In the company's Q4 2011 earnings report, they notched greatly improved revenue and subscriber counts, but that's not the major news. Total revenue for full year 2011 increased 134% year over year to $1.25 billion, primarily driven by wholesale revenue which increased 876% to $493.7 million in 2011 from $50.6 million in 2010. Fourth quarter 2011 revenue was $361.9 million, a 107% increase over fourth quarter 2010 revenue of $175.2 million. Wholesale revenue in fourth quarter 2011 was a record $164.1 million, a quarter over quarter increase of 20% from $137.2 million in third quarter 2011. Fourth quarter 2011 retail revenue and other revenue was $197.8 million, a year over year increase of 33% from $148.9 million in fourth quarter 2010. Wholesale average revenue per user (ARPU) was $6.34 in fourth quarter 2011, up from $6.20 in third quarter 2011. Fourth quarter 2011 retail ARPU was $46.69, up from $45.52 in fourth quarter 2010.
Numbers aside, there's also news that total non-cash write-downs of $129.4 million in fourth quarter 2011 includes $123.0 million of loss from abandonment of network and other assets primarily related to write-downs of uncompleted WiMAX network development projects that were abandoned in the quarter as a result of our plans to build and launch service on an LTE network. Beyond that? There's a TD-LTE network coming in 2013, by which point you may have forgotten all about "WiMAX." Shed a tear, it's okay.