Report: Sprint Planning Buyout of Clearwire to Compete with Verizon LTE
Verizon's 4G data network based on LTE technology is the current king of hi-speed cellular and no doubt other carriers feel the heat. To better compete with big red, Sprint is reportedly in talks to acquire Clearwire, the company that provides its current 4G WiMax network.
Though Clearwire made its bones with WiMax, the company recently announced plans to built its own 4G LTE infrastructure. In light of Sprint's cozy relationship with Clear, it's logical to assume the carrier sees an opportunity to upgrade to LTE (Long Term Evolution) which serves up must faster performance than WiMax. A buyout of Clearwire could help the number three carrier achieve this goal.
Also significant is Clearwire's stated intention not to merely use standard LTE but LTE Advanced Ready, a more sophisticated iteration of the technology that offers download speeds of at least 100 Mbps. That run rings around the LTE flavor Verizon currently operates which typically turns in downloads of 5 to 12 Mbps.
It remains unclear, no pun intended, just how quickly Clearwire can create an LTE system from the ground up. Perhaps Sprint will inject the needed capital required for what is likely to be a very pricey endeavor.