Sprint: WiMax Partnership With Clearwire Still Possible; Dual-Mode Handsets Out This Year

Sprint (NYSE: S) Nextel’s CEO Dan Hesse confirmed a partnership of some kind with Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR) may still be in the cards although he wasn’t prepared to elaborate during today’s earnings call. “We have had wide ranging discussions with Clearwire on potential relationships but no final agreements have been reached,” he said during the call.

Hesse was reluctant to talk about WiMax too much and give the analysts the impression that he wasn’t 100 percent on turning around the company’s core wireless-phone business, however, he still let a few tidbits slip. He said the company’s soft WiMax launches in Baltimore, Washington DC and Chicago are encouraging, and that he feels Sprint can’t pass up being first to roll-out 4G. “Sprint has an enormous asset — nearly 100 megahertz of un-utilized spectrum — and we have the opportunity to have a three-year head start with our Xohm service, true wireless broadband with multi-megabit speed,” he said.

Later this year, he said they’ll introduce dual-mode CDMA/WiMAX devices, which they’ll probably need if if too many people sign-up for the company’s new unlimited data plan and start clogging the networks.

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