Sprint Bails Clearwire From Its Sinking Ship


Clearwire has been on a heavy downward spiral as of late. Their WiMax network rollout was far more costly than they probably imagined and the interest payment of $237 million they had to pay today was not helping.

They looked to their WiMax partner Sprint for help. $1 billion might have been enough for them, though Sprint opened theirwallets up a bit more for Clearwire to start moving toward LTE and for general funding if they could raise $400 million on their own.


In all, Clearwire looks to get $1.6 billion from Sprint. We reckon they wanted to try everything in their power to settle their dire financial issue before going to Sprint for help. When rumors began swirling that Sprint would be their last bastion of hope I figured Sprint wouldn’t let them down considering how much was at stake.

If Clearwire is unable to operate their WiMax network, Sprint’s 4G customers are left in the dark. If Sprint’s customers are left in the dark, Sprint loses a lot of customers. And if Sprint loses a lot of customers, Sprint loses a lot of customers’ money.

This very situation is probably why they elected to do their LTE rollout in-house instead of going to their partner Lightsquared. In any case, Sprint and Clearwire have a working agreement through 2015 for WiMax, after which Sprint will have built their LTE network out to all of their consumer base. This would likely be the death of WiMax phones in America if Clearwire stays on track for their LTE plans as LTE has quickly become the dominant technology for 4G in the US. [via Engadget]

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. “as LTE has quickly become the dominant technology for 4G in the US. ”

    100% thanks to Verizon.

    On a side now, wtf is clearwire?

      1. Steven this is absolutely hilarious lmao

  2. Clearwire is looking ripe for acquisition…..Google anyone?

    1. Antitrust anyone? Such an acquisition would certainly get antitrust lawyers excited and wouldn’t likely go through.

  3. What about clear internet?

  4. This is the way bail outs should happen, PRIVATELY! The government is already taking too much of my money.

    1. Wow, thank you for that insightful comment.

  5. Sprint needed time to free up the iden spectrum in the smr bands so they could use that specturm to roll out their long term 4G network using LTE… wimax and clearwire gave them the ability to roll out a 4G solution and keep them semi-competitive with Verizon in the short-term.

    For clearwire this partnership was a huge risk since they knew if they didn’t get enough wholesale partnerships or enough customers of their own there was no way they were going to make it.  Sadly they couldn’t pull it off.  Everyone knew they were a short-term play and noone was interested in taking on that kind of risk.

    I’m glad that sprint has committed to funding wimax thru 2015 but I’m doubtful that clearwire will be able to come up with funding of their own so I don’t think we’ll see LTE from clearwire.

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