Analyst: Sprint Must Buy Clearwire or Move On Without Them


Talk about”shocker”: Patrick Comach from Zachary Investment Research says Sprint must move fast in light of the proposed T-Mobile/AT&T merger that would See the carrier going from second-to-last to last place in the drop of a pen. (You know, an actual ink pen – one like the Department of Justice would use should they approve the deal. Try and keep up, folks.)

The firm says that the area they need to focus on more than anything is 4G. The carrier long-advertised that they had America’s first 4G network. (And it wasn’t even real 4G at the time.) And although their claims may be true, being the first means nothing if you can’t get it to all of your consumers. Clearwire is still going through the pains, but Comach believes that if Sprint doesn’t buy them now then they’re eventually going to sink into nothingness.

And if they do allow Clearwire to fail, they’d better have a damn good backup plan because aside from their unlimited usage offerings, there isn’t much giving Sprint an edge over its competition. Verizon has already started rolling its LTE network out and has their first 4G device on the market with more to come.

To make things worse, Verizon could end up enabling more customers with 4G by the end of this year than Sprint and Clearwire were able to do in over three years. Yea, I’d say it’s high time to make a significant move in this space or you’re going to be left in the dust if AT&T and T-Mobile end up getting married at the end of the year. (Yes, I know that joke.) [via WSJ]

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.

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  1. If sprint doesnt move to LTE technology they will fail…

  2. Time for Richard to chime in about how Sprint is the best. I get faster upload and dowload in my area than 4g sprint friends :). Yeah I get throttled after 5gb of data, but I don’t approach that with wifi at home. So come on Richard, tell us how the (soon to be 4g less) Evo 3d is the best thing since sliced bread :).

    1. I do, I have tmo in NYC area and can’t get a good signal in my house; I have to turn the wifi on to USE the cotton pickin phone!

      1. Everyone with tmobile here in new york city complains about the same thing especially in lower manhattan and I don’t know why???

    2. Yes you are right the Evo 3d will be better than any smartphone on any carrier when it launches. And more importantly properly priced think about that sprint won’t be trying to pawn off outdated specs on new devices then overcharge expecting you to purchase. Sprint keeps adding and adding 4g enabled devices to their already potent lineup last officially counted at an industry leading 22 devices and that’s not even counting the Nexus S4g, Motorola Xoom 4g tablet or the Motorola Atrix 4g. Not bad for a carrier with supposed crappy 4g according to everyone on verizon. All sprint does is continue to bring the best to their customer base not bad for the little guy.

      1. 1. I’m pretty sure he was being sarcastic about your precious E3D. Thus the “(soon to be 4G less)” bit. Good job, you fail at reading between the lines. 2. You’ve said it yourself in posts past that the 22 4G devices include at least the Nexus S. Nothing but rumor have been stated about the Xoom or the Atrix. Even the youtube videos you stupidly link to have said as much. Get your story straight. 3. I don’t have a 4G device so I can’t really attest to speeds in the DC area, but number of 4G devices means nothing if you can barely connect to/get slow speeds on the network.

    3. I can’t wait for Clearwire to unleash it’s new LTE Network with speeds of 90Mbit/s. ….. STFU

  3. If the EVO 3D doesn’t have the necessary parts to work on Wimax for now and switch over to LTE if Sprint decides to get its act together, dead in the water

  4. I really believe there is a select dialect that other people understand, and I don’t know about. Sprint switching to LTE when the time right was known BEFORE their first WiMax market was launched, yet people keep asking if Sprint will switch. I’m with the analyst. Clear really eff’d up their 4G strategy, and if Sprint doesn’t buy them out completely, they’re screwed.

  5. Sprint already is the majority stake in Clearwire. It it practically owns them already. This kind of news just knocks on shareholders to sell their shares.

  6. They should sell Clearwire stock and deploy LTE as soon as possible, or even better, wait one more year or so until LTE Advanced is viable, and become the first carrier to get LTE Advanced, which is true 4G.

  7. Oh brother not another self proclaimed analyst claiming what sprint should do. People spend so much time focusing on sprint when they should be worrying about there own back yard because sprint just keeps humming away like the energizer bunny. Their future plans for 4g technology is pretty solid and so is all the current devices and future devices on the horizon seems like every move they make turns to gold.. IE.. Customer enabled billing to your bill on android market purchases, Integration of google voice on all sprint android hansets while all the other android users on other carriers must download google voice from android market as an application that takes up space on your device and must have a valid google voice number inorder to enjoy the google goodness, Sprint music another great option and service being offered to android users on sprint only as well as all the other host of services being offered. The way I see it sprint will never have too much to worry about rather that silly merger takes place or not cause many current customers on tmobile will become sprint customers because ass t&t will become worst than verizon on that day than verizon is today especially when it comes to pricing and billing. What verizon and ass t&t should do is focus on strengthening there 4g lineup and make sure the specs match to boot and try to over charge for essentially last year’s devices spec wise just because you claim it’s lte speed will never beat consistency. Be honest to your self and look around at 300.00 dollars and 250.00 price tags for devices on verizon and ask yourself even if you are a customer on verizon as yourself what are you really getting for that price in your smartphone????

    1. switched from Sprint to Verizon for LTE. WiMax just wasn’t strong enough into my warehouse. if Sprint actually expanded their coverage with newer technology, i might have stayed.

    2. 1. If Sprint’s “future plans for 4g technology [are] pretty solid…” then why did they have to create a “Plan B” involving using LTE with another company? Why was there rumor of Clearwire’s going bankrupt? Why do we still not know the direction Sprint is going with their 4G network? 2. If you knew anything about programs and Android, you would know that Google Voice integration will still take up storage space, it just might not be in the form of an app that you can download. Just because it’s “integrated” doesn’t mean it just disappears and won’t take up any space. 3. To me, Sprint Music is just another option in an over saturated market. You can already get music from tons of places, one more might only serve to confuse people. 4. If Sprint isn’t worrying about the AT&T/T-Mobile, then why are they openly opposing it? 5. If you’re going to rant like this learn to spell and use correct grammar. Your writing is pretty terrible. It makes you look highly uneducated.

      1. Sprint is doing better than all other carriers fagot! Grow up and realize that Sprint is dominating the game from here on out!

        1. In case you don’t know this, I have a Samsung Moment with Sprint. I have nothing against Sprint, only Richard here who believes Sprint is God and is infallible. And if we’re “dominating the game” then why are we generally ranked below Verizon and AT&T on pretty much all tech articles? Please have the guts to be objective about the material you’re commenting on.

  8. Sprints direction and there 4g technology is fine and will be for years to come. Evo 3d time

  9. Sprint Wimax is good enough and cheap enough

    1. Unless you aren’t in a coverage area. I am waiting and hoping that WiMax will be deployed to suburban Detroit, but it looks like my hopes may be in vain. I love my Evo, and am glad I got it. When I bought it, I knew that my area didn’t have 4G, but I had good faith in Sprint that they would eventually get here with their network buildout. Unfortunately, that seems to have stalled.

  10. Every time some “analyst” says something “shocking” Phandroid posts it. Honestly, these guys are sooo full of it and if they are soooo smart why are they working for some company and not for themselves in the capital markets making boooko billions? Phandroid should stay to what it does best, posting Android updates or factual news but not silly speculations on top of speculation.

    1. I agree.

      I think Sprint is going to benefit from the AT&T merger, as a lot of people think that both AT&T and Verizon are overpriced.

  11. Did I just miss something? Sprint and Clearwire spun off their Wimax assets to form Clear back in 2008 because Sprint couldn’t afford to keep financing their 4G network expansion and yeah they own 51% of Clear. At the time they got financing from Comcast, TimeWarner, Intel and Google of about $3.2 billion dollars. Since they added Los Angeles officially back in December we haven’t heard much about their future plans. I’ve read that Clear needs more money to keep expanding and that Sprint and the cable companies aren’t providing any more. So that explains the slow down, but if the network will be profitable then why the reluctance to put in additional financing? Sprint’s revenues have gotten better, but are still not that good. The cable companies have had very good profits and revenues so it’s a mystery why they don’t step in. I already see Cox reselling Sprint’s 3G service, and TimeWarner reselling Clear’s 4G service. So I wonder what’s going on.

  12. All you Sprint haters haven’t seen anything yet! The party just started and if you keep hating that’s cool, just remember that you’ll be kissing ass jumping on the bandwagon in the near future.

  13. Hell no. Clear is a damn awful company. Sprint should let someone else gobble them up, or let Clear declare bankruptcy and then gobble up the pieces left over for pennies on the dollar. Sprint SHOULD NOT buy Clear. This analyst is a moron, like most stock analysts. Why would Sprint want Clear’s debts? That makes no sense.

  14. I’m pretty much ashamed at all you 4G snobs. I’m not kidding. You guys are more unappeasable than Sonic The Hedgehog fans, and that’s saying something. I have the Transform on Sprint, and I don’t even have 4G, yet I love Sprint and it’s great plans and coverage. Sprint put YOU GUYS as the customer FIRST by getting 4G ASAP to make their customers happy and proud, yet the minuet you see LTE speeds, you jizz in your pants, cancel your contract, and buy a Thunderbolt, or for you ATT switchers, you got an Atrix or something to that extent. When will the specs and the data speeds EVER even be enough for you guys? How about you look back to when you had a dumb phone with a 2G network. Still feel like complaining? Yeah. Didn’t think so. Don’t act like the spoiled child. I can guarantee none of you actually even need 4G speeds. You just want to have the coolest new toy. Learn to be happy with what you got, or it will never be enough for you.

    *End rant*

  15. and 22 device Offering??? wtf …

    Sprint current offering:
    Samsung Epic 4G
    HTC EVO 4G
    HTC EVO Shift 4G
    Sprint USB data stick U600
    Sprint USB data stick U1901

    But then again .. base on two reports of Sprint’s 4G speed .. current offering drops to zero .. nada.. cuz your 4G is slow as shit.

  16. Guys, if you want to really look at what sprint is and says they are…simply put the best value in wireless. Their 4g is growing and they WILL switch to lte when the time is right most likely without clearwire. Their “network vision” project to strenghten their coverage and take advantage of their superior spectrum position will keep them around and VERY HAPPY well into the futgure and keep large data users unlimited sans throttling. Reg
    ardless, I’m on vacation in orlando and just ran a speed test on my epic and got 4mb/sec down and 1up. More than enough for 99% of the people out there to do whatever they want online quickly. Sprint has finally righted the titanic so to speak from all their bad moves pre dan hesse and let’s see what they do next…..

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