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Clearwire loss increases 90 per cent

US WiMAX champion Clearwire almost doubled its net loss during the first quarter, reporting a deficit of $176.4m, compared to a loss of $92.6m in the same period last year.

Revenues were up 76 per cent to $51.5m as the company cranked its customer base up to 443,000, 72 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Consolidated Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) came in at $36.86, slightly above the $35.80 level from the year ago quarter, which Clearwire claims was primarily due to increased sales of new services including VoIP and the PC Card.

Consolidated churn was 2.2 per cent.

Earlier this month, WiMAX pin up Sprint spun off its wireless broadband operation into a partnership with Clearwire, Intel, Google and a number of cable players.

This reconciliation with Sprint’s on-again, off-again partner, will see Craig McCaw’s company make off with more than a quarter of the new WiMAX firm, to be known as the new Clearwire, as well as the Xohm brand.

Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks will invest a total of $3.2bn and take another 22 per cent chunk in the company. Sprint will hold onto the remaining 51 per cent.

The transaction is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter. The new Clearwire is targeting a WiMAX network deployment that will cover between 120 million and 140 million people in the US by the end of 2010.

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