Embattled WiMAX provider and LTE hopeful clwr took a small step away from Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) by adding another wholesale customer. United Online will be selling a NetZero 4G high speed mobile broadband service via Clearwire's WiMAX network under a five year agreement. They will be selling USB modems and personal hot spots, so this is entirely a data play, as opposed to phones - for now anyway.
If you've been around for a while, you'll recognize that NetZero name from the pre-broadband days. United Online was once one of the major dialup powers but nowadays has largely diversified into other web properties. It is quite interesting that they are taking the NetZero brand into the mobile access space. I wonder if they will be as disruptive on pricing this time as well.
Additional wholesalepartners for Clearwire may help the company somewhat in its survival quest, especially ones that are more active than its cable partners. But right now the big question is where the relationship with Sprint is going to go.
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