Kagan: Clearwire could be a loss leader for the broadband wireless space

Telecom and technology analyst Jeff Kagan has taken a look at Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR)--now mired in potentially life-threatening financial woes--and concluded that it's a case of history repeating itself.

"The companies that start a segment are often not the companies that lead it years later--for example AOL and Prodigy in the Internet space," Kagan said in a column for eCommerce Times.

Two things, he pointed out, are having potentially life threatening impacts on the WiMAX service that, for now at least, serves as the 4G wireless backbone for Sprint (NYSE: S) and the entire wireless business for partners Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Bright House Networks. Femtocells, he said, can be used in the home or small office for fast wireless Internet service, obviating the need for Clearwire and the service provider's competitors "are also moving quickly to 4G themselves."

Clearwire, Kagan concluded, "started out being special but now it is just one of the competitors and that makes it's journey more uphill."

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