Deutsche Telekom in talks with Clearwire

Natalie Apostolou
24 Sep 2009

Deutsche Telekom (DT) and its US subsidiary T-Mobile are reported to be in talks with US carrier Clearwire to gain access to its wireless infrastructure.

The speculation follows news surfacing earlier in the month that the German incumbent would mount a take-over bid. for Sprint Nextel.

This latest round of speculation is given some credence by analysts as Clearwire is 51%-owned by Sprint. An alliance would make sense for Clearwire, which said in August that it required a $2 billion funding injection by the end of the year to complete its own network expansion.

Bloomberg also reports that that T-Mobile is also considering a partnership with MetroPCS Communications, which also has access to additional spectrum. MetroPCS has invested $300 million last year for a chunk of 700 MHz spectrum, which can be used for 4G services.

Clearwire has selected Wimax as its next-gen technology of choice, which goes against T-Mobile’s preference for LTE. However, Clearwire has said before it would be willing to consider LTE.

DT is actively researching the most cost-effective way to build a national 4G network as its US arm T-Mobile languishes at the bottom of the rung in the top four largest carriers in the US market, trialing Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. T-Mobile US accounts for just under a quarter of Deutsche Telekom’s global revenue.

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