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As The World Turns, Wireless Standards Edition

Sprint’s quasi-subsidiary former-underling Clearwire is moving against the WiMax or the highway attitude with the recent announcement that they intend to start LTE trials this year. Clearwire, who offers Clear 4G WiMax service in cities around the nation and shares their network with Sprint (and visa versa), hasn’t been quiet about their awkward courtship with LTE despite the rocky marriage with WiMax. In fact, it was just about a year ago that Clearwire started making noise about LTE.

So what does this mean for Palm and Sprint? For one, it means that Clearwire doesn’t have an exclusive relationship with Sprint, and if it sees more potential in LTE (let’s be honest here, who doesn’t?) it could shut down or switch over those single-network WiMax towers to LTE to be used by Verizon and AT&T and everybody else on the planet. For Palm it could spell trouble if they’re working on a WiMax device for Sprint.

But in all reality, if Clearwire were to decide to make the switch to LTE, it’d probably go something like the switchover to GSM currently being executed by Telus and Bell up in Canada – they turned on the HSPA+ network back in November 2009 and their CDMA network is still running concurrently with a few million customers on board. It'll be years before they can shut it down without angering hundreds of thousands of customers. If it weren’t for the customers these standards switches could happen overnight, but for now we can dream of Clearwire offering service to both WiMax and LTE customers in a happy land of compatibility.

Via: Engadget; Source: Clearwire