Sprint and Clearwire Forge New WiMax, LTE Agreement
Sprint and Clearwire today announced a new agreement that sees Sprint providing additional funding to Clearwire and the two companies forging a clearer path for the future of their 4G networks. Sprint will pay Clearwire a total of $926 million for unlimited access to its WiMax network through 2012 and 2013. Clearwire has agreed to operate its WiMax network at least to 2015. Sprint will continue to sell WiMax handsets until the end of 2012, and will support those devices until the end of their two-year contracts. The deal also gives Sprint the flexibility to offer its WiMax access on a wholesale basis to other providers. Sprint will pay Clearwire up to $350 million in a series of prepayments over a period of up to two years for LTE capacity if Clearwire achieves certain build-out targets and network specifications by June 2013. Both companies will begin to ramp up support for the TDD-LTE ecosystem and plan to introduce the first LTE products (laptops cards and smartphones) in 2013. The companies have also come to terms of additional equity payments to be made by Sprint. Last, Clearwire agreed to may the $237 million debt payment that is due today.
Sprint's WiMax Shutdown May Halt Service for Charities
Sprint plans to deactivate its WiMax network on Nov. 6, but some charities say the change will eliminate internet service for some 300,000 Americans altogether.
Nonprofits Convince Judge to Delay Sprint's WiMAX Shutdown
Mobile Citizens, a not-for-profit organization that provides free and low-cost internet service to schools, has won an injunction preventing Sprint from shutting down its WiMax network. Sprint had planned to cease operating WiMax on Nov.
Sprint Can Commence WiMax Shutdown
A Massachusetts court has given Sprint permission to turn off its WiMax network in stages over the next two months. Sprint will turn WiMax off in 16 cities, including New York, today, with 39 more to follow on February 29, and the remaining 25 cities on March 31.
Sprint Partners Making Headway in Rural LTE Push
Sprint says 16 of the 30 companies who've agreed to participate in its Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program have launched their LTE networks. The Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program is similar to Verizon Wireless' LTE in Rural America initiative.
Sprint and Verizon Fined Total of $158M to Settle Cramming Charges
The FCC today said Sprint and Verizon Wireless have agreed to pay $158 million to settle charges that they fraudulently charged customers for third-party services — a tactic referred to as cramming. Specifically, Sprint will pay a total of $68 million, $50 million of which will go back to customers, $14 million of which will go to state governments, and $2 million of which will go to the federal government.