Can cable giants cure Sprint, Clearwire ills?

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.



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