Sprint-Clearwire Spat Ends

Sprint Nextel and its partner, Clearwire, on Tuesday announced resolving disputes over the prices Sprint pays Clearwire for access to its high-speed mobile network.

Sprint has agreed to pay Clearwire a minimum of around $1 billion during the next two years for fourth-generation wholesale services, the companies said.

The pact consists of minimum usage commitments of $300 million this year, $550 million in 2012 and $175 million in prepayments.

The companies also said they have reached an agreement concerning wholesale pricing for Sprint devices that operate on Sprints 3G network and Clearwires 4G network.

In another development Wednesday, Clearwire announced expanding its 4G network and making capacity upgrades in the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas.  

The widely publicized dispute between Kirkland, Wash.-based Clearwire and Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint over wholesale pricing issues threatened to sever their cozy relationship.

In November 2008, Sprint and Clearwire announced completing a transaction to combine their next-generation wireless Internet businesses. Sprint, the third-largest U.S. mobile operator, owned a 54 percent stake in Clearwire as of December 31, 2010.

The announcement Tuesday follows Clearwire’s disclosure last month that several of its executives were leaving the company, including its chief executive, Bill Morrow, for personal reasons.” The company has named its chairman, John Stanton, as CEO on an interim basis.


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