Sprint Nextel's bid to takeover Clearwire prompts questions regarding how it might integrate both companies' networks as well as speculation that the company is using Clearwire in a game of spectrum chess against other potential acquirers such as Dish Network.
Sprint Nextel confirmed it is talking with Japanese operator Softbank on Softbank making a "substantial investment" in Sprint, and the motivations for the potential deal are starting to come into focus. Principally, Sprint would get cash and a stronger balance sheet from Softbank, and Softbank would potentially enhance the TD-LTE ecosystem at 2.5 GHz via Sprint's relationship with Clearwire.
ZTE reported a 68 percent plunge in first-half net profit due to weaker spending on network equipment from carriers, tough competition and foreign-exchange losses. However, analysts and the company said they expect the second half of the year to produce better results in the gear market.
Seeking to establish a beachhead in converged LTE FDD and TDD end-user devices, ZTE took the wraps off of a multi-standard USB modem and a Wi-Fi hotspot device. Both devices support LTE FDD, TD-LTE, the Chinese TD-SCDMA standard and EDGE.
Sprint Nextel's push to shut down its iDEN network is a major element of its Network Vision network modernization plan, but it also could cause partner Clearwire to let go of some its own mobile WiMAX sites earlier than expected, according to a regulatory filing.
WiMAX provider Clearwire reported a net customer loss of 41,000 subscribers in the second quarter as it treads water in advance of its TDD-LTE network buildout. However, the company said it is making progress toward the LTE launch and will be in a stable financial position for the next year.
Clearwire's stock is now trading below $1 per share as investors raise concerns about the company's funding prospects, which will likely be in focus when the company reports its second-quarter earnings after the market closes tomorrow.