An ambitious agreement between Sprint Nextel and Clearwire to built a nationwide WiMax wireless network, reaching 100 million people by late next year, is on the rocks, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal. The transaction apparently collapsed under the weight of its complexities, aggravated by Clearwire's larger-than-expected third-quarter losses and the recent departure of Sprint's CEO.
Clearwire has pinned its future on WiMax, a technology that allows, for example, web surfing from a moving vehicle. Sprint planned to spend about $5 billion on the network through 2010 and says it hasn't entirely scrapped its plans. One of the other companies backing WiMax, which include Intel, Motorola, and Samsung, may inject financing into Clearwire to save the network.