Sprint: No more Clearwire devices after 2012
Sprint Nextel Corp. says it will stop selling phones and other devices compatible with Clearwire Corp.’s network at the end of 2012, as it switches customers to its own Long Term Evolution network. The irony is that Sprint owns a majority of Clearwire. Still, the latest Sprint news might help clarify the Sprint relationship with the wholesaler.
What Clearwire has to decide is whether it can afford to switch to LTE itself at the same time it cannot seem to finance its national network build. One would have to say it is starting to look as though Clearwire cannot survive as an independent entity. Its biggest wholesale customer is going to stop referring customers to Clearwire. Sprint, by indicating it will no longer sell WiMAX devices, also is signaling that customers will in the future be served by Sprint’s own network. That means even the customers Clearwire now gets from Sprint are going to start to decline.