Four months after joining forces with the goal of rolling out broadband WiMax services throughout the U.S., Sprint Nextel and Clearwire Corp. have ended their partnership, citing their inability to “resolve complexities” associated with the project. Sprint and Clearwire—which had been working independently to launch their own WiMax systems—announced plans to combine their respective networks in July. The markets covered by the proposed Sprint “Xohm” network (consisting of areas that encompass 75% of the population of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas) would have complemented Clearwire’s WiMax footprint, enabling the companies to reach as many as 100 million customers by the end of 2008. The joint Sprint-Clearwire network would have also been the first nationwide mobile broadband network to be based solely on WiMax, which provides wireless Internet connectivity over a much larger area than its older cousin, Wi-Fi. The announcement comes just one month after the resignation of former Sprint Nextel CEO Gary Forsee, who had been the major proponent behind his company’s WiMax strategy. Although Sprint said it remains “fully committed to developing WiMax services,” a spokesman for the company (which has yet to appoint a new CEO), acknowledged that, in light of the termination of Sprint’s partnership with Clearwire, “Sprint is reviewing its WiMax business plans and outlook, and the company expects to comment further on these topics early next year.”
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Sprint, Clearwire call off WiMax partnership
- Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
- Patrick S. Campbell
- November 16 2007
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