Clearwire adds 283,000 subscribers, plans 2 WiMAX phones

We TOLD you there was going to be a lot of news from Clearwire today, and the company didn’t disappoint: In addition to having easily its biggest quarter ever in terms of new subscriber signups — 283,000 new additions during Q1 — Clearwire also announced some additional markets for 2010 launches and said it would have two WiMAX/3G/Wi-Fi phones before the end of the year, one from Samsung and one from HTC.

We’ll post again following the soon-to-start conference call, but since the release is out here are the most relevant stats:

Total Clearwire subscribers : 971,000
Total new subscribers added in Q1: 283,000
Total wholesale (Comcast, Sprint, Time-Warner Cable) subscribers added in Q1: 111,000
Total retail (Clear brand) subscribers added in Q1: 172,000

The wholesale part of the Clearwire equation remains the most interesting to me — be interesting to see when the wholesale numbers pass the retail numbers. An interesting nugget from the press release — some 1/3 of the new wholesale subscribers don’t even live in markets where the WiMAX service is live, but bought hybrid (3G/4G) devices perhaps in anticipation of WiMAX in their home town or to use in WiMAX markets on the road. Clearly the hybrid value proposition is already kicking in.

Total wholesale subscribers: 157,000

More after the call!

Here’s the list of new markets, lifted from the press release:

In recent weeks, the Company has expanded its 4G mobile broadband network service area with five new markets covering nearly five million people, including Houston, TX in March, and earlier this week in Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster and York, PA.

Clearwire also today announced plans to launch 4G mobile broadband service in 19 additional cities this summer, including previously announced markets Kansas City, KS; St. Louis, MO; Salt Lake City, UT, and the core area of Washington, D.C. and newly announced markets Nashville, TN; Daytona, Orlando and Tampa, FL; Rochester and Syracuse, NY; Merced, Modesto, Stockton, and Visalia, CA; Wilmington, DE; Grand Rapids, MI; Eugene, OR; and Yakima and Tri-Cities, WA.

In addition, the Company reiterated its plans to launch Clearwire’s 4G network in other major markets across the country by the end of 2010, including New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, the San Francisco Bay Area, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

About Paul Kapustka

Paul Kapustka is a longtime journalist who has spent more than two decades covering the information technology business, Paul most recently has been focusing on mobility and how it has changed the computing and collaborative landscape. His newest project outside Mobile Enterprise 360 is a research and analysis operation called WiFi Journal. He is also editor in chief of Mobile Sports Report, which covers the intersection of mobile technology and sports business. Paul is also the founder of Sidecut Reports, a research firm that covered the emergence of 4G technology in the cellular marketplace.