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Sprint Seeking Arbitration Over Clearwire Access Charges

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USA based WiMAX operator, Clearwire has disclosed that it has been served with an arbitration notice by its majority shareholder, Sprint Nextel over the wholesale pricing for smartphone use on its network.

In an SEC filing, Clearwire disclosed that its been engaged in ongoing negotiations with Sprint to resolve issues related to wholesale pricing for Sprint 4G smartphone usage under their commercial agreements with Sprint. On October 29, 2010, they received a notice from Sprint initiating an arbitration process to resolve these issues.

The issue is understood to cover the use of Sprint supplied WiMAX smartphones, the HTC Evo 4G and Samsung's Epic. Both use the Clearwire network, which then requires a payment from Sprint. Although an agreement exists, both companies are interpreting it differently.

The SEC filing noted that the arbitration process is in the early stages, and its outcome is unknown.

Sprint currently owns 51% of the enlarged Clearwire company, with ex-Clearwire shareholders owning 27% and a consortium of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Intel, Google, and Bright House Networks holding the remainder.

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