Clearwire Corp., a leader in the WiMAX (aka 4G, LTE, etc.), announced it is cutting 15 percent of its workforce and reducing its current 4G markets while suspending rollouts in new markets such as Denver and Miami. Money issues are to blame and cash flow is tight so this wireless data leader had to pull in the reigns to try and survive.
It’s not surprising to hear a company is trying to survive, but it is surprising that in a world consumed with getting more and more bandwidth a company offering a clear path to that promise land can’t survive. All of the technology innovations and consumer products are pushing us to the air. Why not, we can do anything we want from any location we want. Freedom of connectivity if you will. So are Clearwire’s problems a sign of the company being ahead of the curve, simply mismanaged, or is there a cost/profit issue in the rollout of 4G? 4G has been looming for more than 18 months now with spotty rollouts and spotty coverage. It’s clearly the future, but this latest announcement seems to indicate that the timeline may be pushed out a bit.
How does this affect your hotels? 4G is the answer to getting people off of the guest networks and eventually taking networks away. Similar to the evolution of the call accounting system for guest voice calls. What now is a daily challenge (guest networks) will be merely a line item once 4G is in full effect. The longer it takes for 4G to make an impact the more bandwidth your hotel will need to meet guest demands. Until our guests migrate to 4G, our cost to provide internet will continue to rise.