Wimax and LTE are not competing against each other. There is no winner/loser. They are not made to destroy each other. Wimax is going nowhere. Ultimately wimax will have more coverage. Why? Because cities will use wimax for everything from parking meters to free wimax. Cable companies will use it as last mile of service. Walmart will use it for connections from store to store. Every corporation will use it to replace wifi and a wimax phone will be able to use all those towers for free. That is the wonderful thing about wimax. The standard says any app, any device, and any founding carrier. LTE is only a cellphone standard, only going to be used by cellphones. Comparing them is like comparing current 3g cdma to wifi. Completely different uses. Wimax is made to bring everything you own a broadband connection. Your home, your car, your phone, your netbook, your work, your tv, everything. LTE is only for you mobile phone. LTE does not have the bandwidth to do any more. Wimax has enough bandwidth, to bring every home, pc, cellphone, a 100mbs connection and still have more bandwidth left over for all of lte uses. That is the problem. LTE has very little bandwidth. Not much more then what is being used today, but the current cellphones.
That is why sprint went with wimax. Every major company, city, county, state, and country store will have a wimax connection. Comcast has not even started it's roll out of wimax and either has Time/Warner. LTE and wimax are both good techs, but Wimax will be more available around the world. LTE is going to be very limited in bandwidth. Let me make this clear.
Wimax will be installed and used more in the united states and around the world, by far. But LTE will be used by more cell phones. It is even possible for sprint to use lte, if they choose to. But it is not some stupid betamax/vhs thing. There is no winner/loser. There is only wifi/bluetooth/cdma/evo/gsm/htspa thing.
Intel, google, and samsung alone has more billions of dollars then all the cellphone companies multi millions put together together. Not multi millions, multi billons. LTE and WIMAX are not fighting each other, and no one will win. This is true, but wimax has a lot of spectrum. The FCC is going to open up 2.5, 2.3, and 3.1 ghz (maybe the 5ghz) for wimax. Which means faster is faster.
LTE has at most 7 channels at 1.4mhz and only 1 at 10mhz, per tower. Right now, wimax has 256 channels (only 200 will me used max) at 20mhz. (for those that do not know the bigger the mhz, the faster the channel). Each channel can do about 130 devices. So at 7 channels, an area that has more then 900 devices (max), you are going to see slowdown (this is just theoretical, no lte tower has every been tested doing this).
Wimax can do 26,000 devices at full bore per tower (130 x 200 channels). What does that mean? Well it means that under normal use, lte is a great option. But wimax can just keep adding devices because it has the bandwidth to do it. This is why the cable companies have support it.
LTE will start to slow down a lot if too many people use it. All the evidence says that Wimax will not. In fact, I have noticed under load wimax becomes quicker. But it's all about marketing. Why did Clear and sprint say lte? Because wimax will cover where there is no LTE, and LTE will cover where there is no wimax. You can make a wimax/lte chip and LTE will be forced to share. They are just saying that LTE will happen, to make sure when a consumer is in a spot there they don't have wimax, they still have 4g coverage.
But those spots will get harder and harder to find. There are whole cities that are going to be using wimax. Even city buses will have a wimax towers on them.
LTE is like apple. Closed sourced, closed minded, closed ecosystem.
Wimax is like android, 100% open sourced, open minded, thus allowing any device in it's open ecosystem to be used for what ever you feel want.
I've researched Wimax and LTE quite a bit, and being that Wimax uses time-division-duplexing and LTE uses frequency-division-duplexing, I personally would prefer LTE over Wimax, as Wimax will have a much higher latency because of how it must work. Wimax is force to pause periodically (in very small increments) to upload, while LTE has a dedicated frequency to upload. Both a super fast, but LTE is structured more like typical high-speed internet companies with 1/3 to 1/4 being for upload and 2/3 to 3/4 being for download. Wimax is definitely unique and still is a great technology, especially for browsing web pages, one that I wouldn't have a problem using either, but if I had a preference...I would definitely go with LTE as it would be better suited for latency dependent tasks such as video chats, talking, VoIP, online gaming (although far from recommended). Both technologies are broadcasted over the air, so both will always have latency the same as we have now with 3G technology, however WiMax will have even more latency.