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I think your 90k base stations estimate is a bit high. There's a lot of empty space in the US where no one's going to put a base station even if they're trying to build out a ubiquitous network. A more realistic number for a nationwide buildout is 20k-25k sites.

$100k is high for a base station, but for the whole cell site (tower, power, backhaul) it's not unreasonable, so I think your basic point holds - $900M isn't enough money for a nationwide ubiquitous buildout, but it's enough for a deployment that's more mass-market than niche.

I'd also note that the company under which Clearwire owns all its spectrum licenses, Fixed Wireless Holdings, doesn't show up in the lists of applicants for the AWS auction.

Good point, the 90k estimate is certainly too high, but it was more for the math than to do an actual roll-out case. By covering the "right" 10% of the US, an operator could also actually reach more than 25% of the US population. Towerstream does that very effectively for the business market. Do you know how many cell sites the big operators have across the nation?

I should have chosen my wording more carefully, what I mean is in fact cell sites, and the 100k include the cost for the elements you mention and also construction work. I wanted to take an upper limit rather than a medium number, which however should be around 70k if they deploy a mix of macro- and micro-cells. From what I've heard and read in customer reviews, I think that Clearwire is really stretching cell coverage and oversubscription factors to keep capex down.

I didn't know about the Fixed Wireless Holdings company. Do you have an idea where to find more information about them?

Fixed Wireless Holdings is for all intents and purposes Clearwire.

Some info on cell sites for major cellcos can be found at

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