We knew Sprint and Clearwire’s relationship was on the ropes, but we still had in the back of our minds that those two would work things out. We think a partnership between the two would make perfect business sense in the US’s nascent WiMAX environment. The Clearwire/Sprint team could have made a cohesive WiMAX network a near-term reality.
Alas, our dreams of national WiMAX by 2008 have been dashed with the announcement that the Sprint-Clearwire relationship is officially no more. Reuters is reporting that the partnership deal was put-down due to “complexities of the transaction and the departure last month of Gary Forsee as Sprint’s chief executive officer made it too difficult to reach.”
We can’t imagine that Sprint would be able to foot the bill for a nationwide WiMAX infrastructure build-out all by itself. So, the question is, how will Sprint handle their WiMAX plans? Strategic investor? Sell off the WiMAX unit? We’ll just have to wait and see.
We had big hopes for Sprint to emerge as the premier high-speed wireless ISP in 2008, but now everything’s changed. Sprint’s bottom line could dictate that they spin off their WiMAX unit altogether – you know, unless the pro-rated ETF and SprintArcade prove to bring Sprint back into competition with Verizon and AT&T (in other words: damnit). Hey Sprint, keep on with your WiMAX plans. With your core business lagging as far behind as it is, we think your best bet is to beat your competitors to the national wireless broadband punch.