Speaking of that dispute over wholesale fees between clwr and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings), it figures that minutes after I said the two were close to a deal, they went and announced a long term deal. The pricing agreement 'is aimed at aligning the interests of both companies to enable growth for customers using smart phones and dual-mode devices', which is another way of saying they compromised but aren't going to share too many of the details just now. Ah well, it will all become clearer when the financials are filed
Under the terms of the deal, Sprint is also committing to paying $1B to Clearwire, consisting of $300M and $550M in minimum usage commitments in 2011 and 2012, respectively, plus $175M in prepayments. A billion here, a billion there, and eventually you're looking at real money - but of course never enough real money to appease the company's critics.
They also agreed on mutual re-wholesaling rights by which each can resell the other's 3G and 4G networks. Since Sprint was already reselling Clearwire's 4G, this mostly means that Clearwire can now resell 3G as part of its offerings, thus helping to fill the gaps as they scale back their buildout and ramp those subscribers.
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