Sprint Has a “Plan B” if Clearwire Deal Isn’t Made


Dan Hesse – speaking in an interview today – stated that talks with Clearwire are still going on and that they are nearing a deal. Sprint and Clearwire have been disputing over the charges the latter party has been imposing for providing the former with a 4G network.

The lack of an agreement has forced Sprint to go to such extremes as charging 3G phone users the same $10 data premium that only 4G device users were previously subject to. Many of Sprint’s customers are still without 4G as a result of the two sides’ dispute, so it’s believed Sprint included 3G subscribers to prevent a class action lawsuit.

We heard before that Sprint may be forced to switch to LTE once they’re forced out of their current spectrum being used for 4G. Their new spectrum would only support LTE. Murmurs also surfaced saying they were in talks with LightSquared, the company who would be freeing up that new spectrum currently used by satellites specifically for LTE.

CEO Dan Hesse reportedly said that “Our Plan A is together with Clearwire, but we do have a Plan B. If we don’t reach agreement, we will go and do our own thing.” That quote all but confirms Sprint is talking with SOMEONE to make sure they have a road to travel on going forward, whether Clearwire’s on the wagon or not.

What do you guys want to happen? Do you want Sprint to try and settle things with Clearwire or are you hoping that these negotiations take a wrong turn down 4G lane? [Wall Street Journal]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

HTC Wildfire S System Dump Now Available

Previous article

Havok Engine Shown Off on Xperia Play [Video]

Next article

You may also like


  1. i see a merger of tmo and sprint brewing…

  2. I’m going to be jumping ship to T-Mobile and get a MyTouch 4G in the next month or so. Where I live (Wichita, KS) people with T-M are reporting fantastic speeds on 4G. Wichita was one of their first 50 cities with 4G.

  3. I would like to see Sprint go with LightSquared, personally. and incorporate the necessary things in future smartphones, such as the HTC EVO2.

  4. Let me get this straight…. Sprint who owns 54% of clear wire has to pay said company to provide them (a majority stake holder) with service. Also this majority stake holder is having a dispute with the company it owns. Uhhhhh……. What?

  5. @Mike, I dont see a merger of Tmobile and Sprint happening because one is GSM and the latter is a CDMA, different frequencies and T-Mobile is set to update its HSPDA+41. The samsung galaxy S2 is rumored to rock this latest 4G

  6. i wudnt be mad about a tmobile sprint merge. cud be very beneficial for both parties. LTE wud be a better way to go seeing as i have 4g in daytona, but it turns on and off.

  7. What happens to current 4G clearwire phones like Evo, epic and evo shift? Are they screwed?

  8. If they don’t provide the 4G service they’ve been promising in my area (and charging for)since the launch of the EVO, they’ll face a class action on selling equipment and services that are worthless.

  9. @Mike, I have to agree with Prince. Sprint and T-Mobile are based on different technologies. All a merger would do is require one set of customers or the other to replace their phones to make sure they’re still going to work on the “new” network.

    – Joe the Web Guy .net

  10. I haven’t been impressed with Wimax, but i like the pricing of Sprints data. If moving to lte doesn’t come at a price hike, then I’m in favor of moving off of clearwire.

  11. I would love to see a switch to LTE. Because most people are eligible that have these types of devices for a new phone every year I would think the would offer some sort of incentive to upgrade to LTE or drop the $10 a month 4g fee for these phones. Wimax sucks if you move at all and its building penetration is horrible. Your ok if your in a chair outside or right by a window but wimax needs to go, its the worst of all the 4g services.

  12. I would like to see them sell Sprint to Verizon… LTE Seems to be the way to go and the backbone is growing.

  13. class action suits are so pointless to the average consumer like you and I. The only one who gets anything out of it is the trial lawyer (who stands to make millions with his cut), the rest of us get a check in the mail for 10$ and we call that “justice”.

    Yeah Sprint would get a slapped … but it seems like the customer never gets what he deserves in the end aside from the satisfaction that we got to watch said slap and the only real winner is the layer who organized it.

  14. I’m with BigEd214, what happens to current Sprint 4G devices if Sprint switches over to LTE? I’m glad I didn’t pull the trigger on getting an Evo last month. I almost did, then the next day was the article about the possible change to LTE. My early renew date is August 1st and I’m happy to wait it out for now, but I would love to know what I’d have to do if I do get a 4G WiMax device and then Sprint changes.

  15. Whatever they do it needs to be done quick. It also needs to not alienate the current 4G users, they will need to keep backwards compatibility for a few years after the switch or they will face class action suits. And charging everyone the fee at this point offers no legal protection from class action suits.

  16. I would like to see Sprint go the LTE route, because wi-max has problem penetrating walls (which is what clearwire is). I’ve experienced this first hand.

    LTE operates at a much higher frequency, hence, doesn’t have such limitations, which means more coverage.

  17. @biged214—yes, us Current Evo users and the like are screwed. assuming things switch to LTE, consider the same type of hardware release needing to be in phones as the TB (or possibly the Merge)–a 4g radio specific to receive LTE.

    screw Wimax, couple with TMO and bring on THAT 4G or some actual LTE speeds

  18. I hope sprint switches to LTE, Wimax coverage here where I live is horrible. Even in places where Wimax is suppose to have great coverage I get one bar and low speeds, especially when I go indoors

  19. Also, I don’t understand why some of you guys are talking about a merger…

    Don’t you guys want to keep whatever the little amount of competition that’s left in this market??!!!

  20. If I have been paying the $10 extra a month for 4G service, then I want a refund! There is no 4G service in my area. Sprint says the $10 monthly charge is for the high quality video and other services available for my phone, but I say bullshit. I don’t get high quality video unless my internet connection is through Wi-Fi. So, if in fact the $10 monthly charge is for 4G service, I want my money back!

  21. If you want LTE go to one of the other carriers. Once you experience the crap LTE will allow them to do with the data you access come back to Sprint and join me in hoping they stick with WiMax.

  22. @lomdalf It’s not wimax that sucks at penetrating walls, it’s their 2.5Ghz frequency…it sucks. And Verizon’s LTE is at 700Mhz. Whatever Sprint’s plans are I hope they get rid of that spectrum and switch to LTE if they plan to real 4G competitor. It would suck for me and my Evo, but I love Sprint and want them to succeed.

  23. The switch to LTE would be beneficial to the market as a whole. Then consumers would finally be able to switch networks and use their existing phones, assuming the phones support the frequencies. Sprint would have to do something for all the users who have Wimax handsets and do it well or face a major PR debacle at a time when they’re turning things around. Plan B better be good.

  24. I recently switched from At&T since I got tired of the high prices and bad customer service. I have been with At&T 10 yrs, then Sprint, then Tmobile then back to At&t and I can say as far as coverage goes at&t was the best. I cannot comment on Verizon. Now I know they are all the same. The3y offer you one price then they turn aroung and change it as soon as you upgrade to a new phone. I had the Evo and returned it for the lack of reliable 4G and bad battery life. I had to be on top of the Empire State building holding the phone for it to get good 4G coverage. Now they are imposing a $10/month to 3g and 4G. What is that. The 3G is horrible. My signal goes from good to bad consistently. I can’t wait for another 18months so I can switch back to At&T. Lets not also forget the lack of roaming capabilities with CDMA. GSM should be the standard not CDMA. Sprint, get it together.

  25. As long as “plan B” includes rebates to EVO owners who will be rendered with useless handsets… then who really cares?

    This above all else I would say is responsible for the LACK of announcements regarding NEW handsets for Sprint! something which has me completely befuddled…


  26. @Prince: there are currently chipsets that do CDMA/GSM, Qualcom has one, the one used on the iPhone for VZW. There is also one of the Droids on VZW that is global. There hasn’t been a dual LTE/Wimax chip yet.

  27. I hope the deal falls through. I have yet to use my “4G” due to weak signal. I have Clear home service because my Evo typically receives no signal to very poor signal. The clear home receiver is stronger and therefore able to receive a stronger signal. Sad part is that I have 3 towers close by yet my phone does not get signal. Give me 4G that works! Plus if LTE is adopted, it will hopefully allow for roaming and thus better coverage: win-win. Good-bye clear. Hello LTE

  28. Sprint needs to just take a stand and make the switch to LTE.

    Once their on LTE, they could have LTE chips that do both FD and TD LTE, which would allow them to enter into roaming agreements with Verizon. They would need a 700/800/1900 antenna for it though. Still, I think it will eventually be best for the wireless industry and consumers as a whole.

  29. I definatley think a switch to LTE is in order- It is a much stronger signal than WiMax. It also seems as though the introduction of WiMax is incredibly slow, and once it does launch, it is full of bugs that aren’t worked out.


    I agree with you also on the $10 for “Premium Data”. The only way I get high quality video or high data download speeds is if I’m using Wi-Fi, not using the Sprint network. As far as I know, there is no 4G anywhere in the state of Wisconsin, where I live- why do I have to pay for it?

  30. lte is the way to go.

  31. Sprint via 800# and in store have told me the $10 premium charge is for all smartphones and is not specific to 4G service.

  32. #18 agreed. It’s also going to take the FCC to make these carriers make handsets that work on any network. The sooner this happens the sooner we get true compatition.

  33. Anything but LightSquared. They are degrading GPS performance, and it’s *WORSE* on the more accurate receivers like the ones that will be used for airliners for precision approach and landing, surveying, and flight test position data, as well as the military.

  34. Lol so ahhh Richard …what do you think of this current state your wife (Sprint) is in?

  35. Mike get real. Sprint wasted BILLIONS on that Nextel merger. Sprint uses CDMA. Tmobile uses GSM.

  36. Either way they decided to go SPRINT will be fine that’s pretty clear now that invitation have gone out for our gathering on March 22nd at CTIA… Sounds like Htc Evo 2 4g…. Wonder how all the Evo haters on this site feel now. The best devices this summer will be the Galaxy S2 for tmobile and the Evo 2 4g for sprint

  37. LTE!

  38. LTE

  39. Plan B…Bankruptcy???

  40. @ Richard
    I don’t think its an issue of evo haters. Its more of a Richard yarrell hater bc you’re annoying as fuck with the sprint/evo king bullshit that be spewing outs your ass

  41. im glad i left sprint

    they charged me for 4g when there was no 4g in my area and their 3g was shitty as f–k – i only averaged 120kb/s and since i switched to at&t i average 3 Mb/s

  42. Sprints a BUNCH OF IDIOTS.I saw this coming a long time ago.

  43. @Richard..not sure if you are aware but the t-mobile Galaxy S2 is really the Samsung Epic from Sprint
    @Erich..I feel the same way you do about the $10! That is bullshit because I don’t have 4G in my area also.

    However with all things aside, I do love my epic especially with the new update that just pushed through but it would be nice to use my 4G…cuz I know I am paying for it.

  44. i <3 sprint

  45. Sprint has controlling interest in Clearwire and a lot of spectrum invested. I don’t understand why they can’t dictate whatever detail they want. This is a push to LTE I would wager.

  46. Even if “Plan A” came through. It would only help in the short term. This agreement will always have a problem, and the longer Sprint compromises and stalls, the worse it will be when they have to pull-out and deal with legacy 4G devices that people are in 2-yr contracts with. Not to mention, any tech savvy person knows the FD of LTE is far better than the TD of Wi-Max.

  47. Thank you Vegeta…and no Sprint love …can change that

  48. I read an article that during the next two years Sprint will actually spend most of their income on their network. They are going to be updating it and if they ever choose to go the LTE way then it would be as easy as putting a chip in the in the towers. I have had Sprint for the last three years and worked for their customer service and I got Sprint because of my experience at work they really do try to make their customers happy. I will say though if they don’t take out more competitive phones I will have to switch to T mobile and honestly I hate t mobile it sucks but they do have better phones than Sprint. I now work with AT&T and they’re too expensive and Verizon is just ridiculously expensive so t mobile would be the only option left so… I hope they do get some good phones cause I love Sprint.

  49. Oh and by the way if anyone is curious here is something on phonearena that backs up what I say it’s going to be some billion dollars used to up date the Sprint Network

  50. Sprint’s 4g may not penetrate deep into buildings but it works close to walls and windows so for the small price/all you can data ….its still a winner.Verizon may be faster and reach deeper in buildings…it is too expensive.Sprint needs both wimax for value and LTE for the variety of devices that will be availiable.

  51. For one, a Sprint takeover of T-Mobile does make sense. Just because T-Mo runs on GSM does not mean it cannot happen. Ever hear of Nextel> Two, there is not much difference between WiMax and LTE, WiMax runs on the 25Ghz frequency, which gives you more capacity (bandwidth) vs, the 700Mhz frequency that LTE runs on. Also, the higher frequency does entail more sites to install for Sprint, but they considered this back in 2005, they will need to install over 20,000 sites, but again, we will have more capacity then LTE. Both LTE and WiMax are designed for 100Mbps down, but neither are implemented at that rate yet. WiMax is more scalabe then LTE also. WiMax is currently installed in over 140 countries covering over 1 billion people. How many countries, and people, currently have access to LTE? Finally, WiMAX was originally designed as a wireless backhaul (backbone) technology to begin with, and it is especially well suited for that task, and is compabitble with LTE in that regard.

  52. I can’t consider Sprint until they dump clearwire. no way am i going to buy a phone that doesn’t work indoors.

  53. I would love to see a merger of tmobile and sprint as has been suggested above. It brings more phones to the table and a bigger rival to Verizon.

    We can get LTE immediately and no slow-rollout. T-Mobile gets a wider coverage area and Sprint members get a jump-start on getting LTE covg. It’s a win-win!

  54. @kstagg – How do you see LTE being and immediate acquistion if Sprint acquires T-Mobile? T-Mobile is not rolling out LTE as we speak, they are only upgrading from HSPA to HSPA+, basically 3.5G. They are on a GSM network, Sprint is on CDMA, not comaptible, even Verizons CDMA network is not compatible with Sprints CDMA network. Sprint still ahs better coverage than T-Mobile, and their coverage is just as good as AT&T and Verizon. Sprint still has better phones than T-Mo also. To those who state that their phone does not work insides, blame the handset manufacturer, not Sprint, as I noticed a huge difference in 3G when I switched from a Palm Pre to an HTC EVO. My Pre runs circles around the EVO when it comes to signal quality and strength. Again, that is the manufacturers issue, not Sprints. I ended up dumping my EVO and going back to my Pre until Sprint releases their Windows Phone 7, but if it is an HTC, I will wait, as everyone I know who owns an HTC phone regardless of carrier has signal and strength issues.

  55. Have you all forgotten about monopolies? All these companies are too big to merge. The bigger would have to buy a piece of the smaller one and it would be divided among the rest. Like what happened with Alltel. Verizon bought most ant the rest wa bid on and ATandT got it. I know be cause we were alltel and our area was sent to ATT hell! Sprint saved us! Just hope we get a good deal on an upgrade!

  56. Make LTE the US standard; and dump these carrier specific phones, then we will see some real competition and lower prices. Thats what every consumer should be hoping for….

  57. I agree. LTE all the way. It would be good for everyone. Still, we wouldn’t see the end of carrier specific phones. We don’t see that with current GSM technologies, why would we with this?

  58. Gin – T-Mobile is the smallest with roughlyy 30 million customers, Sprint has 55 million customers, and both ATT and VZ have 85 million. Sprint acquiring T-Mo would basically make them teh same size as the big two, customer base wise, but with better, and cheaper plans. Then maybe they will get better phones with the same customer base, and with them gaining more customers last year then the other 3.

  59. @a.k…. Don’t make me come and BITCH SLAP YOU… You stay quiet boy

  60. I dont cant what they do as long as they do it fast! Plus the can give me my extra $10 a month back since I renewed with and got this hard ass EVO! I’m saying I barely have a 4g signal and i’m paying an extra $10 for barely?!! Wtf! I’m bout to switch to verizon and thats a damn shame

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News