Clearwire finally looks poised to go nationwide with their 4G WiMAX network. The company announced today that it has secured an additional $1.5 billion in funding from its partners to help build out the Clearwire network. Clearwire has been pushing to get their 4G WiMAX network up and running throughout the US, but it’s been a slow process. It takes a lot (seriously, a LOT) of money to build out wireless network infrastructure, money that Clearwire doesn’t necessarily have on tap. Sprint, somehow, does have the money.
Most of the $1.5 billion comes from Sprint Nextel, which is putting up $1.176 billion in additional funds. Despite quarterly losses that just keep adding up, Sprint is fully invested in the Clearwire network. Sprint has majority interest in Clearwire. The carrier donated its own WiMAX assets to Clearwire as part of a deal that would allow Sprint to use Clearwire’s WiMAX network for its own 4G wireless broadband service. And, with their wireless voice business hurting, Sprint really needs WiMAX to be a success.
In comparison, big-name backers like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Intel will be giving Clearwire $196 million, $103 million and $50 million, respectively. In that light, it’s clear that Sprint is committed to pushing WiMAX to every corner of the US. Let’s just hope it works out.