iPCS thwarted; Sprint can move ahead with Clearwire

The new Clearwire is back on track to become the nation's largest (only?) mobile WiMAX network thanks to an Illinois circuit court that removed a roadblock being sought by Sprint's largest independent wireless affiliate.

Sprint affiliate iPCS had sought a temporary restraining order to block the formation of the WiMAX joint venture that would merge Sprint 's Xohm WiMAX network with the old Clearwire and include $3.2 billion in funding from Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks along with Google and Intel. The court said that the restraining order was a no-go but gave iPCS the right to re-file. It could be an uphill battle, since the deal this month received unanimous FCC approval and is only awaiting Clearwire shareholders' OK to close by the end of the year.

iPCS claimed that the new Clearwire would violate affiliation agreements by creating competition for affiliates which resell Sprint services even though Sprint has said it would not infringe on iPCS territory before July 1 and would notify the affiliate 60 days before launch.

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