Beware the "rear-view-mirror"... Use all 3 Perspectives
... at it's basic level, what CLWR is for backhaul, they're probably best suited for local carrier as well.
I I may muse... 3 sprint board members made way for something that I believe is one-step removed from CLWR remaining as a significant "direct retail competitor" and the wholesale vs retail net new subs in Q3 bear that out... service Sprint, don't compete with them so much.
Similarly, if they're providing infrastructure as a wholesaler for sprint-et-al, why not T-mobile... they're still talking and CLWR is blatently NOT criticising their HSPA+ claims to 4G status... meaning... CLWR is clearly marking their turn as a wholesaler to everybody who ISN'T Verizon and AT&T.
High tech is about pluralism now... hardly ANYBODY is very vertically integrated. Retail product producers don't make their own chips, chipmakers do... and chipmakers don't run their own foundarys... outside of INTC, they ALL use Taiwan Semi or indian outsourcers for talent like Infosys or Cognizant.
To compete with Verizon and AT&T, I think the model will be that everybody else will leverage thru CLWR and, if the overall success of high-tech pluralism is any indication, I think CLWR will end up empowering the retail collective in a way that will give them advantages over Verizon and AT&T, not immediately, but 3 to 5 years from now with the kind of resolve I sense if brewing.
I'm starting to think, with this wholesale-intensive veer and subscriber ramp, that the spectrum auction aint gonna happen... that it'll be a venture with T-mobile and/or others and LTE/WiMax redundancy on the towers.
The risk remains that CLWR will wind up an infrastructure/wholesale tool of the retail consortium, and the chance of perpetual skimpy margins that might accompany that, but in that role, CLWR would be a critical tool indeed, with more downside buffering than even I suspected...