Clearwire, Sprint Nextel to form €9.4b wireless firm

Clearwire and Sprint Nextel said they will combine their wireless broadband units to create a €9.4 billion (US$14.55 billion) communications company, an Associated Press report said.

The new company, to be named Clearwire, will receive investments from Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the report said.

Sprint Nextel will be majority owner with a 51% equity stake, while existing Clearwire shareholders will receive about 27% interest.

Clearwire, which will concentrate on rolling out a mobile network based on the emerging WiMax standard, will also receive an investment from Trilogy Equity Partners, led by US wireless industry veteran John Stanton.

Clearwire already provides wireless internet service in some parts of the country, using a WiMax-like technology. The company had a subscriber base of nearly 400,000 wireless broadband customers at the end of 2007.

The new company is looking for a US network deployment reaching 120 million to 140 million people by the end of 2010.