Sprint Nextel Corp is in talks with several cable companies (including Cox Communications and Cablevision Systems) about making an investment to acquire their WiMax partner Clearwire Corp, sources told Bloomberg Business Week.
A Sprint/Cable company cabal would seem to strengthen the wireless carrier’s position in the nascent 4G market, with the AT&T-T-Mobile merger looming and Sprint staring down a potential 16th consecutive quarterly loss. It would also improve the cable companies’ ability to compete with AT&T and Verizon, who currently offer TV, broadband, home phone and wireless services to their customers.
Sprint, Comcast, Bright House Networks and Time Warner cable are all investors in Clearwire. The Kirkland, Wash.-based company is losing money, but plans to spend $600M to upgrade its network to LTE technology. They currently provide the WiMax backbone for Sprint, their largest investor and the US’ third-largest wireless provider. Sprint’s stake in Clearwire is currently at 54 percent.
Neither Sprint nor the cable companies chose to comment.
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