"Seeing the forest for the trees"... standards and ubiquitous IP begets consolidation in many segments
Both minor and major waves of technological progress typically develops in classic stages of introduction, rapid market development, maturation, and relative decline/commoditization.
Each industry runs on their own time clocks and set of circumstances that include how 'capital intensive' and long lasting, and how competitive the industry segment is both for direct replacements and shifts due to growth in complimentary or disruptive technologies and market developments. Some of these influences are external to the primary focus of the incumbent business: for instance, the Internet and increasingly mobile communications has ushered in eCommerce as both an alternative and as a compliment to brick and mortar storefronts. Depending on how well traditional stores harness the Internet and mobile, they can either be helped or crushed by eCommerce. Book sellers have been a prime example because the product is so large in numbers which drives up storefront overheads while its also something that users will buy online.
The business investment cycle for wireless operators is both capital intensive and high-growth in which the replenishment cycle can pay for repetitious re-investment in new and upgraded networks and services.
That means the business factors must be handled first... because if you do not get the bigger picture right, all the technology in the world won't save the investment. Specifically, you must use the technology that goes into the network to generate cash flow that pays off the debt and then some. It cannot be a perpetual machine to deploy new technology, no matter how great it may be, without measuring up in sales. Sales cannot be just to a level of paying current bills but must pay off prior investment and, at least, the degree of investment needed to keep the profitable scale of operations going. As an ongoing business, its OK to just make enough sales and profit margin to pay off debt and keep up with expenses... because that should result in more capital coming in to take advantage of the debt/capital investment. Clearwire has not been able to meet the first level of the ongoing business concern: they have not been able to pay for the existing debt of the WiMAX network and then to fund the shift of the same footprint, or, for that matter, a much smaller footprint. The prospect has gone wrong for too long and too far off the mark to be considered viable.
That is why the company is being scrapped out... its been dead as a self-sustainable business model since it was known that the cost of acquiring subscribers was high while the number fell far short of what was needed.
That ends all discussion of Clearwire reviving as a stand alone company except under the ownership or effective ownership by a company or group of companies able to invest heavily to build out a plan that has a chance of reaching profitability... the self-sustained re-investment model.
All the talk about chips, OS, devices is 2-3 years too late. It has not been the primary focus except that Clearwire hung out the prospect for getting into the handset business and doing creative marketing that would keep the customer acquisition costs low. That simply has not materialized... sub numbers are going down to the extent that cutting acquisition costs to the lowest level of any competitor will not change the equation. It helps insomuch as it provides incentive for being acquired at a higher price.. by showing that the company won't be as much of a burden and can be leveraged going forward. Other than that, too late, too little.
Clearwire is a dead company as its currently structured pre-acquisition.