Originally published: May 18, 2011
Last updated: May 18, 2011 - 3:47pm
In what could be the first step toward a direct integration with Sprint’s networks, Clearwire announced that it is handing over the management of its WiMAX networks to Ericsson.
Ericsson will take over the network engineering, maintenance and operations of Clearwire’s core, access and transmission networks -- basically the whole WiMAX enchilada -- and will bring 700 Clearwire employees into its U.S. managed services business. Ericsson performs the exact same outsourcing role for Sprint, which would make Ericsson a common bond between the two operators if they choose to integrate their future mobile broadband networks. Sprint and Clearwire are in negotiations over network sharing deal which would allow Clearwire to deploy long-time evolution (LTE) over Sprint’s new radio technology-agnostic base station architecture using the same 2.5 GHz frequencies Clearwire uses today for WiMAX. Such a network sharing agreement could save Clearwire billions of dollars in capital investment, while giving Sprint access to an LTE network far rivaling its competitors AT&T and Verizon Wireless
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