T-Mobile Takes Aim at Sprint with Clearwire Investment Offer
News Analysis: Sprint directors are mulling an offer by Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA to invest in the Clearwire network owned by Sprint.A growing coziness between T-Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel has been rumored for months. At one point there were rumors that T-Mobile's parent company, European communications goliath Deutsche Telekom, was preparing to buy Sprint and make it part of T-Mobile. So far, nothing had come of it-until now. The Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint's directors are considering an offer by T-Mobile to invest in Sprint's Clearwire 4G service. Sprint currently owns slightly over half of Clearwire, giving it control of that company. Allowing T-Mobile to invest into Clearwire will give Sprint the money it needs to complete the built-out of its new 4G network, and it will give Deutsche Telekom an entr??Â«e into Clear's LTE development effort being put into place in Arizona.
At first glance, it's a little hard to nail down why T-Mobile might do this. Sprint is a relatively minor player compared with Deutsche Telekom, after all. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has been aggressively building out its HSPA+ 3G network around the United States. While it's 3G versus Sprint's Clearwire 4G, the fact remains that T-Mobile's network is about twice as fast as Sprint's.