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FreedomPop launches free smartphone service in United States

10/01, 12:34pm

Free service offers 200 minutes, 500MB, 500 texts each month

Mobile data provider FreedomPop has launched its free cellular service for smartphones, one it revealed in July. The service, which provides a free allocation of data, voice minutes and text messages each month, similar to its existing free Internet hotspot service, with the carrier using Clearwire's WiMax 4G phone network for coverage.

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Sprint approved for acquisition of Clearwire, closure due today

07/09, 8:22am

Clearwire shareholder vote passed for Sprint acquisition

Sprint has received approval from Clearwire shareholders to acquire the rest of the company, on top of its existing share ownership. The proposal, increased to $5 per share before the shareholder's vote, will allow Sprint to buy the remainder of the company that it does not already own, ahead of the expected closure of the Sprint-Softbank acquisition deal.

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FCC formally approves Clearwire, Sprint, Softbank puchase chain

07/05, 4:54pm

Little additional regulatory approval remaining to complete the deal

As expected, the FCC has officially given the green light to the Softbank purchase of Sprint and the corresponding Sprint purchase of ClearWire. The statement from acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said that the deal serves the public interest and will "accelerate the deployment of mobile broadband services and enhance competition."

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FCC claimed to approve Sprint acquisition by Softbank, Clearwire deal

07/03, 8:58am

Last major hurdle in Sprint acquisition allegedly cleared, soon to be finalized

The Federal Communications Commission will allow for the acquisition of Sprint by Softbank, according to a report. Members of the Commission have apparently voted on the purchase with two out of three commissioners voting for the deal, and all but effectively completes the $21.6 billion deal between the two carriers.

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Sprint increases Clearwire bid, receives unanimous board approval

06/20, 4:48pm

New bid eclipses Dish offer, shareholder date shifted

In response to Dish Network's latest $4.40 per share bid for Clearwire, Sprint Nextel grew its offer for the company to $5 per share. The move was immediately responded to by Clearwire changing its recommendation in favor of the newest offer, and signaled a shareholder vote for July 8, versus the old date of June 24.

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Dish gives up on Sprint merger attempt, continues for Clearwire

06/19, 10:49am

Withdrawl leaves Sprint open to acquisition by SoftBank

Dish Network has halted its battle with Japanese carrier Softbank for Sprint, after failing to provide a final offer for a merger. The withdrawal now allows SoftBank to continue in its attempt to acquire Sprint, with a completion of the purchase likely to finish, thanks to Softbank upping its original $20 billion offer to $21.6 billion.

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Report: Verizon proposes $1.5B Clearwire spectrum lease

04/15, 12:57pm

SEC filing by Clearwire mentions 'Party J,' believed to be Verizon

Verizon wants to lease spectrum from Clearwire, in order to improve its 4G LTE offering, according to reports. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Clearwire mentions an offer from "Party J," believed to be Verizon, for spectrum in a number of markets for between $1 billion and $1.5 billion collectively.

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Sprint makes it official: will buy Clearwire for $2.2B

12/17, 9:48am

Sprint now will leverage Clearwire's 2.5GHz spectrum assets

Confirming earlier reports of an acquisition in the offing, Sprint today announced that it would be taking full ownership of wireless broadband wholesaler Clearwire. The final price for the deal came in at $2.2 billion, just above earlier estimates that had Sprint paying $2.1 billion. That price represents a 128 percent premium to Clearwire's closing share price from October 10, the day before Sprint and Softbank's discussions were confirmed in the marketplace.

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Sprint offers to buy out rest of Clearwire for $2.1B

12/13, 6:38pm

Sprint would use Softbank cash to buy rest of Clearwire

Sprint, the United States' third-largest wireless carrier, has offered to acquire Clearwire for $2.1 billion. Sprint already owns half of Clearwire, having acquired a controlling stake in the carrier in October of this year after buying $100 million worth of shares off of an investment firm. This new offer would give Sprint access a larger spectrum portfolio, an asset the carrier needs if it wants to realize its plan of taking on AT&T and Verizon for primacy in the American wireless market.

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FreedomPop aims to disrupt home broadband with Hub Burst

12/12, 1:12pm

Home modem comes with 1GB free data per month

FreedomPop, maker of 4G WiMAX cases for iOS devices, is expanding into the home broadband Internet market, the company announced today. The firm that calls itself "America's new free Internet company" announced the pre-order availability of its new Hub Burst, a home modem providing free high-speed Internet for homes and small offices at speeds faster than typical DSL. FreedomPop, which has plans ranging from free to $29 per month, is currently accepting applicants to a beta program for the new service.

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Sprint to take controlling stake in Clearwire

10/18, 3:55pm

Sprint buying Craig McCaw's Clearwire stake for $100M

A regulatory filing revealed today that US carrier Sprint will buy shares in Clearwire Corp. sufficient to take a controlling stake in the wireless carrier. Sprint will pay $100 million to Eagle Rivers Holding, an investment firm owned by Clearwire founder Craig McCaw, in order to acquire a further 30.9 million of Clearwire's Class A shares and 2.73 million Class B shares, bringing Sprint's stake in the carrier from 48 percent to 52.5 percent. The deal will give Sprint control of the spectrum Clearwire controls, likely increasing Sprint's value even as Japanese carrier Softbank moves to buy 70 percent of Sprint.

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Karma testing prepaid social mobile hotspots in New York

06/14, 5:39pm

Hotspots grant public access and give owners credit

Startup company Karma is creating a service offering pay-as-you-go 4G wireless hotspots with a social element. The unit will charge by the gigabyte, but in a move similar to Fon, will be open to public use, according to The Verge. Users without an account accessing it gets 100mb of free service and also credits the hotspot owner by an equal amount.

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Sprint is no longer the majority owner of Clearwire

06/11, 1:16pm

Sprint stake in Clearwire is reduced to just below 50 percent

Sprint no longer has a majority stake in Clearwire, it announced on Monday. This now means its voting rights in the venture are increased and there is no risk of defaulting on its own debt. Late last year, Sprint invested hundreds of millions into Clearwire to help it out of debt and to build out its 4G LTE network.

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Qualcomm working on LTE chip with 7-band frequency support

06/06, 1:03pm

Qualcomm to release 28nm, MSM9860-based chip for LTE network interoperability

Qualcomm working on LTE chip with 7-band frequency support
A new FCC filing (PDF) from Qualcomm reveals the mobile chipmaker is hard at work on an upcoming LTE chip that support many wireless frequency bands. The chip promises to support three frequencies on either side of 1GHz and a seventh one in the high range that would be compatible with Clearwire's 2.5GHz 4G network. This spread would effectively get rid of North American operators' interoperability worries.

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Clearwire and Qualcomm to partner on multi-mode LTE chips

05/09, 8:08am

Clearwire, Qualcomm join to unify LTE

Clearwire and Qualcomm have announced a new partnership that will bring support for Clearwire’s TDD-LTE frequency to its multi-mode LTE mobile chipsets towards the end of the year. Clearwire had taken a different tact to most of the other US carriers, who have opted for the FDD-LTE standard. However, the TDD-LTE specification has been widely adopted across the globe by heavyweights including China Mobile, Bharti-Airtel in India and Softbank in China giving Clearwire a unique opportunity to offer a global LTE smartphone.

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Clearwire preps 31 areas for LTE rollout in 2013

04/26, 6:50pm

Clearwire

Clearwire late Thursday gave an indication as to the scope of its initial LTE network launch for mid-2013. A total of 31 market areas would be covered during the launch period. The deployment would include several major cities, among them Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle.

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Virtual carrier Ting to offer LTE when Sprint does

04/13, 1:15pm

Ting promises LTE at the same time as Sprint

Virtual network operator Ting revealed that it will launch an LTE network at the same time as Sprint, which it currently relies on for its CDMA and 3G networks. Ting also now uses Clearwire's WiMAX network for mobile broadband, though if this will change once Sprint rolls out its LTE offering mid-year remains to be seen. According to an executive from Ting's parent company Tucows, Ting's LTE offerings will include USB data modems, mobile hotspots, and "pretty spiffy" smartphones.

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NetZero goes 4G with low-cost, contract-free data

03/19, 8:15am

NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband goes live

NetZero took a different direction Monday by starting up its own 4G service. Its Clearwire-sourced WiMAX is contract-free and has the unique choice of picking either a basic (1Mbps/384Kbps) or full-speed (10Mbps/1.5Mbps) access plan, even having the option to switch over the web. The service also lives up to the company's once historic practice of offering service: those who buy a modem can get 200MB of data each month for free for a year, with the device price already covering the cost.

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Cricket strikes deal to use Clearwire LTE for phone coverage

03/14, 10:55am

Cricket parent Leap wholesales Clearwire LTE

Cricket's parent company Leap on Wednesday struck a deal with Clearwire to use its upcoming LTE network. The five-year pact will let Cricket users run on Clearwire's 4G in addition to the network Cricket itself plans to build. The expansion would give extra capacity where it was needed to help cope with demand, Leap chief Doug Hutcheson said.

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Credit Suisse buys Google's Clearwire shares

03/09, 4:30pm

Google sells 29.4m shares to Credit Suisse

Google has sold its stake in Clearwire to international financial services group Credit Suisse, the Wall Street Journal revealed this week, citing unnamed sources. Each of the 29.4 million shares sold for $2.26 for a total of $66.5 million. While this represents an enormous loss compared to the $500 million Google paid in 2008, it's still better than the $1.60 per share Google was asking late last month.

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Sprint looks to raise another $2b for LTE, Clearwire

02/27, 4:45pm

Private transaction means less disclosure

Sprint announced that it would issue corporate bonds worth approximately $2 billion in a private sale. The company hinted that the proceeds of the sale might be used to support "network expansion and modernization and potential funding of Clearwire Corporation," among other uses. Clearwire has been seeking additional investment as it transitions to 4G LTE. Sprint is already committed to paying $600 million this year and another $300 million in 2013 for Clearwire's WiMAX service.

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Google sells $47m stake in Clearwire

02/24, 10:15am

Google offloads Clearwire share for unknown reason

Google in an SEC filing posted last week but discovered Friday that it had sold off its stake in 4G provider Clearwire. Two sales on February 7 and 16 were collectively worth $47 million on the assumption of selling 29.4 million shares at $1.60 each, or less than Clearwire's $2.27 actual price as of the end of Thursday. No explanation was given for the exit.

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Clearwire expects TD-LTE by June 2013

02/16, 7:50pm

Clearwire sets timeline for LTE rollout

Clearwire chief Erik Prusch in comments during his company's fiscal results call Thursday set a timeframe for its move to LTE for 4G. He expected an initial round of 5,000 sites to switch on by June 2013. The currently WiMAX-only provider is planning to use TD-LTE on top of WiMAX and will focus mostly on heavy population areas where data use is most likely.

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Clear revamps 4G gear with Spot Voyager, Hub Express

01/30, 2:35pm

Clear Spot Voyager and Hub Express kick off 2012

Clearwire's still growing Clear 4G service got refreshed devices for the new year on Monday. The Infomark-made Clear Spot Voyager reinterprets its mobile hotspot and touts a relatively long six-hour battery life for its WiMAX sharing. It can reach as many as eight Wi-Fi devices at once and, at 2.6 inches square, is meant to be pocketable.

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Clearwire flips to profit, adds customers as LTE underway

01/24, 9:35pm

Clearwire starts recovering with cost cuts

Clearwire on Tuesday showed a significant recovery from near death with early estimates of its results. It swung from a loss in the summer to net positive earnings in the fall, owed directly to adding more subscribers and cost-cutting. The 4G provider expected to have gained 900,000 total customers, or an 11 percent jump just in one season.

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Dish Network open to T-Mobile deal if AT&T takeover fails

12/12, 3:40pm

Would also want assets if divestiture required

Dish Network has indicated that it might be interested in acquiring assets from either AT&T or T-Mobile if their proposed $39 billion merger fails to go through. This insight came from Dish's CEO Joseph Clayton in an interview with Bloomberg. Dish has already expressed interest in acquiring customers and spectrum if US regulators require AT&T to divest any such assets in order to allow the deal to be completed.

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Clearwire to offer $300m in stock to fund LTE deployment

12/05, 11:20pm

Company continues funding drive

Clearwire is reportedly set to provide $300 million of its Class A stock as a public offering, in an attempt to fetch additional funding for the company's LTE deployment plans. The WiMAX provider is also said to be leaving the door open, as a 30-day option, for its underwriters to purchase an additional $45 million in Class A shares.

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Comcast to sell Verizon gear early in 2012, TWC sooner

12/05, 4:50pm

Comcast, TWC will sell Verizon mobile hardware

As part of the recent AWS spectrum sale from cable providers to Verizon, Comcast will begin selling Verizon's mobile devices early next year. At the same time, Comcast will compete with Verizon in markets where it sells its FiOS TV and Internet service, said Comcast Cable president Neil Smit. Time Warner Cable will also sell Verizon products in bundled packages, though it will do so nearly immediately.

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Verizon deal leading to Comcast, TWC dropping Clearwire

12/02, 4:40pm

Comcast, TWC to replace Clearwire with Verizon

As part of the very recent $3.6 billion spectrum sale to Verizon, the communications provider will wholesale its spectrum to Time Warner Cable and Comcast, CNET found. It will replace Clearwire in this respect, as it's one of the conditions of the multi-billion dollar sale. Verizon will be the exclusive partner of the two providers, Time Warner Cable spokesperson Alexander Dudley said. The transition will be done over the course of the next six months, and TWC and Comcast will need to move their existing customers elsewhere.

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Clearwire avoids default, gets debt, LTE funding from Sprint

12/01, 10:40am

Clearwire escapes debt default with Sprint deal

Clearwire got a last-minute reprieve Thursday after Sprint confirmed a rumored last-minute financing deal. The 4G service is getting both debt assistance to pay off its $237 million owed on Thursday as well as up to $350 million to help Clearwire transition over to LTE. Under the new terms, most of the payments will come during 2012, although Sprint now also has to guarantee use of Clearwire's outgoing WiMAX network through 2015 or later.

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Clearwire said close to landing Sprint funding deal

11/30, 6:50pm

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.

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Clearwire may skip next debt payment

11/18, 4:40pm

Clearwire considering skipping $237m debt payment

Clearwire is considering not making a payment towards its debt due in the next two weeks. It owes $237 million on December 1 and its cash and short-term investments as of September 30 added up to $698 million, so the company can afford it, the Wall Street Journal said. Making the payment would put a significant draw on those savings, and the company is weighing the pros and cons of making it.

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Sprint might sell debt to keep Clearwire afloat

11/04, 5:30pm

Sprint looking to sell debt to raise funds

Sprint has announced a plan to offer notes due in 2018 and 202. It says that is 2018 offer will be guaranteed by the company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries its existing credit arrangements. The company will be selling off its debt in order to raise finances to help fund Clearwire to keep it afloat. While the company has not said how much it hopes to raise in the note offer, it said on October 26 that may need to raise as much as $7 billion to upgrade its own network and help pay for the high cost of its deal with Apple to sell the iPhone.

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Tips: Sprint, Clearwire may extend network deal 3-5 years

10/27, 11:40pm

Sprint and Clearwire close to pact even with LTE

Sprint and Clearwire are close to signing a deal that keep their network sharing intact even after Sprint's LTE switch, purported sources divulged late Thursday. The terms passed on to Bloomberg would have it extend the deal for another three to five years. If completed, the deal will probably see Sprint pay less to Clearwire for when its 4G data goes over the Clearwire network.

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Clearwire renews hope with spike in new 4G users

10/13, 6:00pm

Clearwire expects to post good Q3 numbers

Clearwire has reported better-than-expected revenue for the third quarter, with stock jumping 21.5 percent on Thursday. This growth, if maintained, should help the company build the money it needs to upgrade its network and retain it, as it's been tied to selling its 4G network capacity to other carriers. Its long-time partner, Sprint, has also been rumored to be distancing itself from Clearwire, though the carrier's CEO has gone on record to say this wasn't the case.

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Dish considering buying Sprint or Clearwire, CEO says

09/26, 10:20am

Dish looking for mobile carrier partner: CEO

The CEO of Dish Network, Joseph Clayton, said in an interview on Monday that the company could be looking into partnering or acquiring a wireless carrier. He floated to Bloomberg the prospect of getting either Sprint or Clearwire. The Dish executive admitted, however, that his company also need to secure wireless infrastructure, more technological capabilities, and distribution.

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Clearwire to sell network capacity to Verizon, AT&T?

09/22, 10:10pm

Carriers said to be in talks over 4G spectrum

Clearwire is reportedly involved in ongoing negotiations to sell some of its network capacity to other major carriers in the US. CEO Eric Prusch told Reuters the company is "talking to everybody," a list that includes AT&T and Verizon, along with smaller regional carriers such as Leap Wireless and MetroPCS.

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Sprint may buy Clearwire to make LTE network

08/19, 8:20am

Sprint may acquire Clearwire for LTE expansion

Sprint may buy outstanding shares in Clearwire to build out its 4G LTE network more quickly, according to Bloomberg sources. Sprint is said to be in talks with cable companies include Comcast to raise the capital to buy out equity in Clearwire that it doesn’t already own. Although a deal is not said to be imminent, Sprint, which is currently losing money, is keen to invest around $600 million to upgrade its network in order to become more competitive with Verizon and AT&T.

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Clearwire to add 120Mbps LTE Advanced to its network

08/03, 4:45pm

Clearwire jumps to LTE as main 4G

Clearwire up-ended WiMAX with news Wednesday that it would make LTE and LTE Advanced its primary 4G formats. The rollout will give it peak speeds of 120Mbps or more using the same 2.5GHz frequencies and network that it already uses. While it will be LTE at first, it will be upgradeable to LTE Advanced when it becomes available and hit "at least" 100Mbps.

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Clear puts out Spot 4G-Apollo pocket router with LCD

07/25, 8:55pm

Clear 4G-Apollo router goes live after leaks

Not long after an FCC filing, Clear has unveiled a new-generation 4G hotspot. The Spot 4G-Apollo carries its own display to show its connection strength, battery life, amount transferred and other info without needing a look at a browser. It can handle up to eight simultaneous devices over Wi-Fi and has an unusually long six-hour battery life.

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Sprint to announce 4G plans this fall

07/19, 11:20pm

CEO gives opinions on tiered data pricing

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse suggests the carrier later in the fall will be ready to announce significant plans surrounding its 4G deployments, though the executive has yet to confirm rumors pointing to a LightSquared deal for an LTE network. Speaking to visitors at Sprint's headquarters in Kansas, Hesse also added to his commentary on the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, claiming that he feels a personal obligation to oppose the deal and push for competition in the marketplace.

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Sprint to confirm LightSquared deal on July 28

07/13, 6:30pm

Sprint waits for Q2 results to back Lightsquared

Sprint will wait until it reveals its latest fiscal results to confirm its LightSquared sharing deal, insiders explained Wednesday. The cell carrier should use its July 28 financials to confirm that LightSquared will be paying to use Sprint's cell sites while it grows its 4G LTE network. Terms weren't divulged to CNET but are rumored to involve $20 billion over 15 years.

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Sprint and Clearwire announce WiMax network expansion

07/13, 8:05am

Sprint and Clearwire expand 4G network

Sprint and Clearwire have announced an expansion of the Clearwire 4G network coverage for mobile broadband customers in the greater New York City metro area. Sprint and Clearwire claim that they have added WiMax coverage for more than 11,927,000 people in the New York metro area. In total, the Clearwire 4G network now has an additional 21 percent coverage since its launch on November 1, 2010.

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LightSquared near closing $2b deal to use Sprint network

06/01, 2:00pm

LightSquare finalizing 4G deal with Sprint

Up and coming 4G provider LightSquared is on the verge of completing its network sharing deal with Sprint, according to tips Wednesday. The nearly done deal would see LightSquared pay $2 billion every year for the next eight years to rent out Sprint's equipment for its own service. It wasn't evident from the Reuters tip when it would likely go live, though Sprint had pointed to further news about its network near the start of the second half of the year.

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Clearwire offloads 4G management to Ericsson to save cash

05/18, 4:30pm

7-year deal moves 700 workers to Ericsson

Clearwire has announced that it will transfer operational responsibility for its 4G network to Ericsson. Under the seven-year agreement, Ericsson will take over day-to-day responsibility for the network, while Clearwire will still retain physical ownership. Clearwire has taken this action in an effort to reduce its operating costs while maintaining network quality.

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Clearwire exits phones, Sony Ericsson drops lawsuit

05/15, 6:25am

Clearwire drops phone plans, SE drops lawsuit

Sony Ericsson has announced that it has dropped its lawsuit against Clearwire. Sony Ericsson had filed suit in January claiming that Clearwire’s logo looked too similar to its own. An injunction was sought to stop Clearwire from using its swirl logo as the company had decided to enter the smartphone space. Clearwire recently told the court that it has dropped its plans to release its own phone, which has prompted Sony Ericsson to withdraw its suit.

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Clearwire hints at rumored switch to LTE with Sprint

05/06, 1:25pm

Clearwire talks about LTE switchover with Sprint

During an earnings conference call this week, acting Clearwire CEO John Stanton revealed the company is engaged in talks with Sprint regarding using its upcoming LTE network. This helps support an earlier rumor that would help Sprint move from providing a Mobile WiMAX network to an LTE one with much-needed capital. Stanton said Clearwire won't be officially announcing its intentions until Sprint makes its own public commitment to revamp its network, expected to come this summer.

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Clear axes Rover prepaid data brand

05/05, 5:45pm

Prepaid mobile Internet plan targeting youth ends

After only nine months on the market, wireless broadband operator Clearwire has shelved its Rover prepaid mobile Internet service. Rover was intended to capture the digitally-aware 18 to 24 year-old audience and was rare in focusing on prepaid data first. Charges could go up to $50 per month but also allowed for $20 per week and $5 per day.

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Clearwire freezes cash-raising spectrum sale

05/05, 7:40am

Clearwire puts spectrum sale on hold

Clearwire has put its spectrum sale on hold. Interim CEO John Stanton explained to investors that the company would not need to sell off its excess spectrum to raise funds in 2011, although he did not rule out the sale beyond the end of this year. Clearwire is currently in the process of expanding its WiMAX network, and was in need of funds. However, Stanton argued that the $1 billion over two years that it has raised from its with Sprint Nextel would be sufficient in the short term.

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Sprint to pay at least $1b over two years for Clearwire use

04/19, 1:00pm

Sprint commits min of $1b in 2 years to Clearwire

Sprint and Clearwire have come to a new agreement that required them to settle a previous dispute over wholesale pricing. Under the new deal, Clearwire will receive a minimum of $1 billion over the course of the next two years from Sprint in exchange for access to its high-speed WiMAX network for mobile devices. The deal comes at a crucial time for Clearwire, as it was trying to raise capital as early as late last year.

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