Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

June 14, 2007 at 10:03 AM

Sprint’s latest WiMax plans

The WSJ is reporting that Sprint Nextel is exploring new options for financing its plans to build a national WiMax wireless broadband network. The options may include forming a partnership or joint venture with Craig McCaw’s Clearwire, or seeking an infusion of cash from cable providers.

In addition, Clearwire separately announced today that it formed a distribution agreement with DirecTV and EchoStar Communications to resell each other’s products and services.

The WSJ, quoting “people familiar with the matter,” said the options Sprint are considering an effort to make investors less concerned about the cost of the WiMax plan.

So far, Sprint has committed to spending about $3 billion through next year to build a network that will offer high-speed wireless Internet access to 100 million people.

One deal supposedly under consideration would be to spin off Sprint’s WiMax unit as part of a deal with Clearwire, the WSJ said people familiar with the matter said. The two sides have had discussions in recent months.

A partnership between the two would not be completely out of the question if you look at the many ties that McCaw has had with Sprint Nextel in the past. McCaw previously controlled Nextel Communications, a company he helped rebuild to become the fifth largest carrier in the U.S. before Sprint purchased it. Nextel had extremely close ties to Motorola, which made Nextel’s special push-to-talk services. It is Motorola that purchased Clearwire’s WiMax equipment subsidiary, and now has a very close relationship with Clearwire and Sprint.

I talked to Ben Wolff, Clearwire’s CEO, briefly this morning. He declined to comment on all of the above.

Comments | More in WiMax

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►