Sprint Faces 4G Dilemma

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) has bet its future on offering speedy data services to mobile devices over a new high-speed, “4G” network and has joined with upstart Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) to build it.

But Clearwire has a problem: It needs billions of dollars to finish building its nationwide network. And now Sprint, which owns 54 percent of Clearwire, must decide whether to fund the project itself or turn to a competitor for help.

Sprint’s board of directors is debating whether to let rival cellphone operator T-Mobile USA invest in Clearwire, three people familiar with the situation said.

Such a decision would consolidate the U.S. telecom landscape by enabling the country’s third- and fourth-largest wireless operators to use the same next-generation network.

T-Mobile USA Chief Executive Robert Dotson said early this year that his carrier is looking at its options for 4G, including having conversations with Clearwire. However, T-Mobile USA hasn’t put a proposal on the table, so no decision is imminent, and some Sprint board members are adamantly opposed to the idea, these people said.

Read the rest of this post on the original site