As Verizon Wireless geared up for the debut of its long term evolution (LTE) wireless broadband network in 38 markets next week, Clearwire Corp. said it would raise at least $1.2 billion in a debt offering that, according to sources, would give the company enough funds to construct and operate its nationwide WiMax network through the end of next year. With its partners, Clearwire—the first carrier in the U.S. to roll out fourth-generation (4G) wireless broadband services—already provides WiMax services in 68 markets and is on track to cover a population of 120 million by the end of this year. Although the Clearwire network is said to be operating smoothly, officials admitted recently that the company could burn through its cash supply by mid-2011 if it does not receive additional funds to continue network deployment. Clearwire is also reported to be considering sales of equity or sales of a portion of its spectrum to raise cash. Under the plan, announced last Friday, Clearwire said it would sell $675 million in secured notes and at least $500 million in 30-year notes that can be paid off in cash or in shares of Clearwire stock. Sprint, the principal partner of Clearwire and a major Clearwire bondholder, will have 30 days to decide whether to purchase an additional $585 million in debt that could convert to Clearwire shares. Sources also say that, depending on demand, Clearwire could raise the offer by an additional $100 million to bring the total value of the debt offer to $1.8 billion.