Wireless data market booms, but Clearwire may be an also-ran

Wireless network operator Clearwire (CLWR) is pinning its fortunes on the booming mobile data market. But while wireless data usage grows at a blistering pace, investors should take a look a close look at how Clearwire's technology stacks up to the coming technologies from much larger rivals such as Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) before getting on board.

"If ever there was a rising tide that is lifting all boats, this is it," Clearwire CEO William Morrow told investors after the company reported third quarter earnings on Tuesday. Adjusted earnings losses narrowed to 43 cents per share from 45 cents per share, while revenue was up 13% to $68.8 million.