Clearwire Losses Grow as Users opt for iPhone over its 4G Network

The financial results for the fourth quarter announced by wireless operator Clearwire Corp, have fallen short of expectations; though, in the longer term the company could well manage to regain lost ground.

Clearwire reported Q4 revenue of $361.9 million, although this coresponded to a loss of $236.8 million, or 81 cents a share, resulting from continuing operations; Wall Street analysts had expected the figure to be around 35 cents, Forbes reports.

However, on a sunnier side of the story, Clearwire has some hope to pull itself off the floor after getting a financial infusion from its largest shareholder and customer, Sprint.

Apple's partner Sprint uses Clearwire's 4G WiMax wireless service and soon Clearwire will update its networks to faster 4G LTE technology. This means potentially Clearwire could get a healthy boost down the line, if the next-generation iPhone comes with support for LTE, as most pundits assume.

So far, Clearwire's 4G WiMax networks are not supported by the best selling smartphone of its major partner, with Sprint's customers flocking to the iPhone 4S. Until it can tap these users with its new technology, Clearwire will struggle to turn the tide.

Nonetheless, the company now has about 10.4 million subscribers, compared to 4.3 million a year ago.

The company's CEO Erik Prusch, speaking at the earnings call, remains optimisic: "Clearwire is positioned to be both the 4G network of today and of tomorrow for many in our industry. We are moving beyond promises and into a new 4G reality."