Clearwire gets $1 billion commitment from Sprint

We’ll have more on the news later but for Clearwire it appears the next chapter of company history starts today with the announcement of a definitive agreement with majority owner Sprint gives Clearwire a minimum of $1 billion over the next two years.

The (finally!) reworked deal resolves the biggest contention between the partners, namely the price that Sprint will pay Clearwire for each device that runs on the 4G WiMAX network Clearwire has built over the past few years. What is especially interesting to us here at Sidecut Reports is the fact that the word “WiMAX” is not used once in the meat of the official press release announcing the deal; instead all network references use the term “4G,” which if you take things very literally leaves the door open for a potential Long Term Evolution partnership between the companies going forward.

Key points for Clearwire from the deal seem to be the $175 million prepayment (solves some cash-on-hand issues), the $1 billion in total guaranteed money as well as wording that says Clearwire can continue wholesale reselling of Sprint’s 3G network. At the very least this will all make Clearwire’s upcoming earnings announcement May 4 a very interesting call.

Stay tuned, more to come for sure as we reach out to both companies for more info.


About Paul Kapustka

Paul Kapustka is a longtime journalist who has spent more than two decades covering the information technology business, Paul most recently has been focusing on mobility and how it has changed the computing and collaborative landscape. His newest project outside Mobile Enterprise 360 is a research and analysis operation called WiFi Journal. He is also editor in chief of Mobile Sports Report, which covers the intersection of mobile technology and sports business. Paul is also the founder of Sidecut Reports, a research firm that covered the emergence of 4G technology in the cellular marketplace.