Thu, May 08, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Tech leaders to invest in WiMAX firm


In a major bet on the WiMAX wireless Internet technology, Sprint Nextel and Clearwire said yesterday they would combine their networks in a new company with investment from Google, Intel and others.

The new company, to be named Clearwire, will deploy a nationwide WiMAX network that will “dramatically enhance the speed and manner in which customers access all that the Internet has to offer at home, in the office and on the road,” a joint statement said.

The new firm will have investments from Google, computer chip maker Intel, Internet search giant Google, cable firms Comcast and Time Warner Cable and service provider Bright House Networks. They have collectively agreed to invest US$3.2 billion in the new firm.

“The power of the mobile Internet, which offers speed and mobility, home and away, on any device or screen, will fundamentally transform the communications landscape in our country,” Clearwire chairman Craig McCaw said.

“We believe that the new Clearwire will operate one of the fastest and most capable broadband wireless networks ever conceived, giving us the opportunity to return the US to a leadership position in the global wireless industry,” he said.

Upon completion of the deal, Sprint will own the largest stake in the new company with some 51 percent equity ownership. Clearwire shareholders will own about 27 percent and the new investors, as a group, will acquire an estimated 22 percent.

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