January 06, 2009
Smith Micro Connects with Clearwire on 4G Networks
By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor
As Clearwire (News - Alert) this past year prepared to launch its first commercial nationwide WiMax network, which included its debut in Baltimore in 2008 and launch in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, the searched for a connection management software provider that would fit their mobile WiMAX plans.
The Las Vegas-based company tapped Smith Micro Software (News - Alert) to design a connection manager enabling customers to connect to its Clear mobile WiMAX service. In conjunction with this first widely-deployed 4G wireless service, Smith Micro has customized the connection manager specifically to Clear’s mobile WiMAX (News - Alert) requirements.
“This is our first multimode connection manager. It’s Our first WiMax connection manager,” said Robert Elliott, CMO for Smith Micro, who noted that Smith Micro’s roster clients include some of the biggest carriers in the business.
This application features a highly refined user interface emphasizing ease-of-use, reliability and simplicity. The application also supports most major WiMAX devices in the industry today.
What it does for the end-users, says Elliott, is two things: first it makes all the hard installation decisions regarding firmware and decides where to install the manger on PC. The whole process is streamlined to take between 60 seconds and 70 seconds.
“For the end users to launch the manager on a PC doesn’t take up real-estate on the networks and automatically selects the fastest or strongest signal.”
Clearwire’s deployment of mobile WiMAX is significant for several reasons not the least that it represents a significant step forward for today’s mobile Internet services. Elliott notes that as increasing wireless data bandwidth speeds, simplicity and usability should all help to drive the country’s adoption of wireless data services.
“One of the great things we are starting to see in wireless networks as we hit 4G speeds is a new wave of wireless acceptance,” said Elliott.” As more and more users start to roll out WiMax, and LTE (News - Alert) comes into play increased speeds and capabilities are making it a more competitive product offering.”
While in the home, or in cyber cafes, wireless has long been an acceptable mode of staying connected, however it has traditionally been an afterthought used as an “only when necessary” method of getting online.
“Try downloading a 10meg PowerPoint,” says Elliott. “It can be kind of painful.”
But higher speed networks are changing the way people thinking about connecting wirelessly, and this first widely-deployed 4G wireless service, and Smith Micro’s customized the connection manager specifically geared to Clear’s mobile WiMAX requirements is blazing the way.
“Our leadership in building connection managers for many of the world’s leading wireless carriers and our expertise in managing a broad array of air interfaces made Smith Micro the clear choice in Clearwire’s selection of a software development partner,” said Scott Richardson chief strategy officer of Clearwire.
And the move is already paying dividends for Smith Micro. Financial analyst firm Wedbush Morgan reiterated a 'Buy' rating on Smith Micro today.
The company’s analyst said: "Smith Micro teams with Clearwire to provide the service provider with its Connection Management Software. Clearwire deal likely one of the three seven-figure deals expected to ramp up. We expect this deal to drive Smith Micro's Connectivity segment. If all goes well, this deal is likely to drive similar WiMAX deals in 2009, which should further benefit Smith Micro's Connectivity segment. With solid growth expected in 2009, and shares attractively valued at 4.3x EV to estimated 2009 EBITDA, we are reiterating our BUY rating and $8 target."
Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tim Gray