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Clearwire said close to landing Sprint funding deal

updated 06:50 pm EST, Wed November 30, 2011

Companies expected to finalize terms before 2012

Clearwire is reportedly close to securing additional funding from Sprint, suggesting the companies may have quietly overcome lingering disputes. The WiMAX provider is said to be in need of nearly $1 billion in additional capital to help keep the company afloat and upgrade its network amid increasing competition from other carriers offering 4G speeds via alternative technologies such as LTE.

Clearwire recently threatened to delay a $237 million payment towards debt interest, which is due on December 1. Chief executive Erik Prusch suggested the company was considering the move to maintain cash reserves, which sat at approximately $698 million late in the summer.

Although Sprint is set to eventually embrace LTE, the company is reportedly planning to extend its network sharing deal with Clearwire for an additional three to five years. The latter company also plans to transition to LTE, however analysts believe such a move will require additional financial backing from majority owner Sprint.

Unnamed sources have told Reuters the companies are still negotiating terms of the funding deal, however Clearwire is "optimistic" that an agreement will be made before the end of the year.

by MacNN Staff





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