Sprint, Clearwire negotiating network-sharing contract beyond 2012

Sprint and Clearwire are negotiating a network-sharing contract that will last beyond 2012, Bloomberg recently reported, noting a 29% surge in Clearwire’s stock price earlier Wednesday. CEO Dan Hesse explained on a conference call that Sprint could take advantage of Clearwire’s network in an effort to balance traffic on its planned 4G LTE network. While Sprint is “making very good progress on the technical front with Clearwire,” a deal is not yet final or definite. Sprint announced earlier this month that it plans to accelerate its 4G LTE roll-out and will launch its first markets by the middle of next year. The project is expected to be fully completed in 2013. Sprint’s move to LTE had originally suggested that its WiMAX relationship with Clearwire was coming to an end, but it appears that is no longer the case. Like Sprint, Clearwire has also said it will deploy a 4G LTE network if it can find the money. Most recently the carrier was courting AT&T and Verizon in an effort to bring in enough cash for the roll-out, which it expects to cost $600 million.

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