In an agreement similar to an arrangement which Sprint Nextel (S.N) has with Ericsson, Clearwire Corp (CLWR.O) has chosen Ericsson (ERICb.ST) to take over management of its high-speed wireless network to help it cut costs. The network deal is for seven years and some analysts speculate this may be a sign of a closer tie between Sprint and Clearwire. Sprint is Clearwire’s majority owner. Although Clearwire will transfer 700 of its 3,600 employees to Ericsson, reports Reuters, it will continue to own the network.
“Clearwire’s adoption of a similar network management agreement to Sprint’s could mean that the companies are getting ready for a closer relationship, he said.
‘While the optics of further equity investment or eventual consolidation would be likely negative for Sprint shares, we think it is the right decision,’ McCormack said.’”