The FCC has approved Sprint Nextel’s (S) $14.5 billion deal to merge its “Xohm” high-speed wireless business with Clearwire (CLWR), announced in May. The companies said they’d hoped to build out their network to reach 120-140 million people by the end of 2010.
“It will be interesting to have Google and Comcast on the same board of directors,” FCC commissioner Robert McDowell reportedly said.
What we’ll be watching: If WiMax can catch on fast enough that it’s relevant when a competing wireless technology — “LTE” — comes into the picture. All major U.S. wireless carriers except Sprint and Clearwire have pledged their support for LTE, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
Meanwhile, WiMax has the support of the cable industry, and to an extent, Google: Sprint and Clearwire will get a cash infusion from Comcast ($1.05 billion), Intel ($1 billion), Time Warner Cable ($550 million), Google ($500 million), and Bright House Networks ($100 million.)
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Clearwire: 1.3 Million WiMax Subscribers Next Year, 31 Million In 2017
Alltel Snubs Clearwire: Can Sprint Make WiMax Work By Itself?
Sprint’s WiMax Delays Will Make The ‘4G’ Format War Worth Watching
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