That clwr is looking for ways to cut costs and thus improve its operational position by any means necessary is not a secret. I suppose I should have expected them to take a page from the book of their largest shareholder, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) and outsource network operations to Ericsson, but it hadn't yet occurred to me. But that's exactly what they did according to today's announcement. And it makes even more sense alongside the not-so-secret possibility of a network sharing deal between Sprint and Clearwire, since of course Ericsson would be on both sides of it doing the nitty gritty.
Clearwire will still own the network and will make all the technology and strategy decisions, while Ericsson will take over network engineering, operations, and maintenance. Sounds familiar, I guess Ericsson really does like this stuff. Approximately 700 Clearwire employees will move over to the Ericsson column, which probably adds to their job security so I'd guess most won't mind. At least they'd better not, as that transition will take place by 'mid 2011' which translates to 'in a month or two', since it's nearly time to break out the swimsuits according to my calendar.
Will this be enough to silence the company's critics? Obviously not, but perhaps it gives some visibility into those operations costs going forward that will help clarify just what kind of scale they need to reach breakeven. The main focus now, therefore, is subscriber growth. Lots and lots of subscriber growth.
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