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Sprint and Clearwire Fight Over Smartphone Finances

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Nov 11, 2010, 8:02 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint has filed legal paperwork against its WiMax network partner Clearwire in an attempt to resolve differences in how the companies believe one another should be billed. Clearwire says that about 810,000 EVO 4G and Epic 4G smartphone customers use their devices outside of Clearwire's WiMax coverage areas. Clearwire believes that, despite those devices' inability to access and use WiMax, Sprint still needs to pay Clearwire a monthly access fee. Sprint disagrees. In its most recent quarterly report, Clearwire states, "We have been engaged in ongoing negotiations with Sprint to resolve issues related to wholesale pricing for Sprint 4G smartphone usage under our commercial agreements with Sprint. On October 29, 2010, we received a notice from Sprint initiating an arbitration process to resolve these issues. If we are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of these issues, we end up agreeing to an amount less than what we expected, or the arbitration process is not resolved in our favor, we could end up receiving substantially less in future wholesale revenues than we expect or for which we have planned. Such an outcome could require us to revise our current business plans and projections and could also adversely affect our results of operations."

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Nov 11, 2010, 12:47 PM

Well let's just see...

VZW Plan
450 minutes
5000 messages plus unlimited m2m messages
"Unlimited" Data
89.98 per month
Source... vzw.com

ATT Plan
450 Minutes
Unlimited Messaging
2G of data
84.99 per month
Source ATT.com

Sprint Plan
450 Minutes
Any Mobile Any Time
Unlimited Messaging
Unlimited Data
Unlimited Premium Data
79.99 per month

The Sprint network is just as big and reliable as VZW... They have the top 2 rated devices. They have a TRUE 4G network. They charge customers LESS than the competition and OFFER THEM MORE.
Still trying to figure out why you guys are complaining.
please show me what reports say sprints network is just as large and reliable as verizons. on top of that, if sprints network is so great and offers soooo much more, why havent tons of vzw, att and tmobile customers jumped ship? and the funniest thing...
A few things...

1. None of us are complaining about Sprint, their service or even the fact that they charge $10 for Premium Data. Many of us are in fact Sprint customers, and pleased (if not ecstatic) with their service and customer support.

Nobody here is complaining, Sprint is being sued by the SAME COMPANY THAT PROVIDES THAT "TRUE 4G" SERVICE.

I don't understand why you are comparing plans here.
land of the free phone

Nov 11, 2010, 9:07 AM

Whats up with that?

Why does Clearwire think they can milk Sprint for revenue on 4G phones they don't provide coverage for? I know they are desperate for money right now, but to go after your majority share holder who has already given billions to you is not a smart thing to do.
Sprint charges customers an extra $10 monthly fee for the right to access and use WiMax -- even if those customers don't live in a WiMax coverage area.

Seems that $10 monthly fee was specifically earmarked for Clearwire, if you ask me.
it only fair sprint is charging me for 4g i cant evan use yet so why cant clearwire charge sprint for us none 4g users we wil have some day right

Nov 11, 2010, 6:04 PM

So you think you know about data usage...

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/071410-sprint- ... »

Is the $10 charge about 4G? Sorta, kinda, but not really?
The average 3G user (ie iPhone, Blackberry, and other smart phone)uses way less than even 2g of data per month. The average 4G user? 7g of data.... and that's the AVERAGE!!! Sprint's attitude has been to let customers run wild on the WIMAX network with no caps and no boundaries. Their 3G/4G modems do not have a 4G limit or a charge for Premium Data. They do however have a 3G limit.

The Evo and the Epic are 4G devices that easily hit that 7g average. But guess what? As many Sprint detractors have pointed out many times, Sprint's 4G network isn't by any means vast. So what does that mean? Well, it...
Wow that's impressive 7gb on average per user. I bet tmobile cant say that about there slower hspa+ network! 🤣

Now that's the power of 4g!
Well said, The last nail has been put into the coffin.
Ok, I will admit, that description is the best argument for the $10 premium charge. Good job.

That said, two points:

- Given your reasoning above, all smartphones should be allowed to add $10 Premium Data, so that they can also have unlimited 3...

Nov 12, 2010, 10:20 AM

Bottom line

Sprint LIED about the reason for the $10 up charge.
dequardo said:
Sprint LIED about the reason for the $10 up charge.

No, you're just a hater. No one lied to you or anyone else.

Nov 11, 2010, 9:10 AM

It should work both ways...

... if Sprint does not want to pay Clearwire a service fee for the 4G phones it sells, then Sprint should not charge people the 4G access fee if they do not access the 4G network with their phones.

Fair is fair.
I agree, but with the money Sprint loses on the plans every month, you got to make it up somewhere.
TDBearCT said:
... if Sprint does not want to pay Clearwire a service fee for the 4G phones it sells, then Sprint should not charge people the 4G access fee if they do not access the 4G network with their phones.

Fair is fair.

Nov 11, 2010, 2:41 PM

Clear wins the court case. Sprint is guilty. No contest. [thoroughly broken down]

I've read through all of the threads here and understand the "for Sprint" argument as best as I can. The "for Sprint" argument is absolutely wrong.

It's painfully obvious the reason Sprint is tagging on an extra $10.00 a month for "premium data" is because of the 4G tag on the two devices in question.

I mean, it's even listed in their bullet-point!

This phone can do it all and then some. Because we've boosted your data experience with this phone's amazing services and features, you'll need this add-on. Enjoy:

-A wicked fast processor to make your apps run smoother and faster on our Sprint 3G and 4G network
-Top quality media experience with oversized screen, high resolution video and HD recording
But what about video calling?

Have you tried video calling on 3G? It's horrible. It works, but not very well at all. I never use it unless I am in a 4G network area. The difference is significant.

Many that complain about this fee, maybe they shouldn't.

Let's say I go to Ve...
Your post = fail! 🤣

Nov 11, 2010, 6:55 PM


"If you buy the Sprint 4G EVO, you have to pay this $10 charge each month. This is specific to the device. It’s not related to whether you are using 3G or 4G. It is required if you have the phone.

Because the phone has a faster processor, a huge 4.3 inch screen and an 8 megapixel camcorder/camera, we expect you will be using a lot more data than you would with our other devices. These features will give you capabilities that have previously never been available on a wireless device
and we think they provide a premium experience. (Remember, this is the world’s first 3G/4G Android phone.)"

"This phone can do it all and then some. Because we've boosted your data experience with this phone's amazing services and features, you...
Thank You! In short the 10 dollar fee is chump change compared to what it would cost you on Verizon or Att. Anything close to it would be 40 to 50 dollars more and that's before they tack on overage fees. I even see people on tmobile who pay a lot mor...

Nov 11, 2010, 5:13 PM

The Child Thinks He Has Grown Up.

But he is just beginning his life career.

It appears this is a family feud between child and parent.

No one in this forum knows exactly what is drawn in the rules and regiments under this household. So we can all speculate with inefficient evidence(including myself).

However, My take is this:

Sprint and other investors, spent cash on sending Clearwire off to college. Sprint as the parent, has invested the most. They have essentially given the shirt off it's back to their child by surrendering the network and large cash to the child so he can hopefully prosper in learning the fundamentals. Now the college student comes home from school and is in financial bind. He needs cash and he doesn't care how he gets it.

He can do one ...
Well said, sir. I have a similar take, but I'm not nearly as pessimistic about the outcomes as many people seem to be.
Clear is not a child of Sprints. Clear was an independent company building out its own Wi-Max network and business as was Sprint. The two entities decided to merge the Wi-Max business and keep the Clear name. It's a nice story you weave, but perhap...

Nov 11, 2010, 10:42 PM

Turnabout Is Fair Play For Sprint

So.. Sprint charges a $10 Premium Data Add-On that to use the EVO or Epic.. The so-called add-on isnt an add-on as it is REQUIRED of all EVO or Epic phones regardless if they use 4G networks or not. Sprint is making a KILLING off this as MOST of the phones arent even in 4G areas at all. While Sprint claims it is for many other contradicting services those who know better know that it is a 4G access charge.
Sprint refuses to refund, reduce, or discount this fee to ANYONE, even those who can not and never will have access for the 4G service.

Clearwire comes along and wants their payment, and now Sprint doesnt want to pay, saying that the phones cant access the 4G so they shouldnt have to pay?

How the hell does it feel Sprint? To cheat ...
Cheat customers? You want to talk about cheating customers look at Verizon or AT&T Family plans with data and text, and then call and complain to us about the $10 data, seriously, it seems everything in this counrty should be free at no commitment too...
rwalford79 said:
So.. Sprint charges a $10 Premium Data Add-On that to use the EVO or Epic.. The so-called add-on isnt an add-on as it is REQUIRED of all EVO or Epic phones regardless if they use 4G networks or not. Sprint is makin
In all fairness, this could be the other way around.

Sprint is most likely feeling complaints from their subscribers about the extra charge. Sprint does not want to pay for something not valid just as their customers.

On a note about this charge...
land of the free phone

Nov 11, 2010, 9:44 PM

It is Amazing

How this thread was about the arbitration between Sprint and Clear, and has turned into justification over the 10 Premium data

Nov 11, 2010, 9:42 PM


--that bodes well.

Nov 11, 2010, 11:22 AM

To all the misinformed(and misinformERS)

The $10 charge is for Premium Data on PHONES ONLY. There is no such charge on any 4G modem or connection card. The EVO and EPIC have NO data cap even in 3G areas.

If you don't like the charges, you can choose another carrier that offers data caps and overage charges for plans that already cost more than the Sprint plan that includes unlimited with no data cap. VZW will offer data caps or a VERY expensive unlimited plan. ATT offers 3G plans with DATA CAPS for more more money. PC world and Engadget both say that Sprint has the best device lineup of any company...
So quit griping about a $10 charge that STILL ends up costing you less than the competition on a device that the competiton WISHES they had to offer you.
If it is for phones only then why isn't it required or even offered for the LG Optimus S or any other smartphone?

And isn't the $10 Premium Data charge on top of the $70 Simply Everything plan that is already advertised as having unlimited data? An...

Nov 11, 2010, 2:39 PM

Time to dump Clearwire

It's about the right time to dump Clearwire and move on to LTE. Besides, Sprint is the majority shareholder in Clearwire and should just exercise it's position and take over the company and convert Wwimax to LTE!
The funny thing is how much money Sprint has invested in Clear, and then Clear turns around and does this? gutsy
flip mode

Nov 11, 2010, 2:06 PM

Domestic Squabble

King Solomon would have cut the EVO 4G in half and settled this feud with Sprint & Clear in seconds. 😎
flip mode said:
King Solomon would have cut the EVO 4G in half and settled this feud with Sprint & Clear in seconds. 😎


Nov 11, 2010, 11:09 AM

The Mistake Continues

Seriously? Not again... Is Sprint going to have to buy out another partner? It is silly to expend resources for this. Raise the capital and buy these guys out OR let Clear die and pick Clear's bones.
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