Originally published: December 7, 2011
Last updated: December 22, 2011 - 5:05am
Once again, Sprint and Clearwire have thrown their lots together, agreeing to pursue their 4G future as a team. The technology is different, but the situation remains the same: Sprint needs a mammoth LTE network, and only Clearwire is in a position to build it.
To do that, Clearwire needs cash, and while Sprint has committed to pony up $1.6 billion and to match any equity Clearwire raises, that investment will only be enough to plant the seeds of the 4G network they want to grow. If the two of them want to take on Verizon Wireless and AT&T in the coming mobile broadband war, Sprint and Clearwire will need to check their caution at the door. With more than 100 MHz of spectrum, Sprint and Clearwire can build the biggest, baddest mobile broadband network in the industry; the only thing holding them back is depth of their pocketbooks. It’s pretty clear, though, that both operators are still thinking conservatively.
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