Can cable giants cure Sprint, Clearwire ills?

Summary:An investment in Clearwire could give cable companies a route to offer wireless services to better compete with AT&T and Verizon.

Sprint's 4G network today depends on capital challenged Clearwire, which needs to build out its LTE network. The fix? Cut a deal with cable companies to help fund Clearwire.

According to Bloomberg, Sprint is trying to work out a deal where cable companies would back Clearwire and give it enough funding to build out an LTE network. In return cable companies---Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse are already Clearwire investors---would be able to offer wireless services.

It's a bit sketchy how this deal would work. Sprint may buy the remaining shares of Clearwire it doesn't own, but such an arrangement could resolve a few issues.

  • Sprint needs more firepower to compete with AT&T and Verizon. Cable giants reselling Sprint/Clearwire services would help that cause.
  • Clearwire needs dough or it's done.
  • And cable companies are going to need to address wireless service in a more comprehensive manner.

Looks like a winning deal for everyone depending on the cash involved. It remains to be seen if this funding actually arrives though.

Related:

Topics: Telcos, Hardware, Mobility, Networking

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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