updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed May 18, 2011
7-year deal moves 700 workers to Ericsson
Clearwire has announced that it will transfer operational responsibility for its 4G network to Ericsson. Under the seven-year agreement, Ericsson will take over day-to-day responsibility for the network, while Clearwire will still retain physical ownership. Clearwire has taken this action in an effort to reduce its operating costs while maintaining network quality.
"Clearwire's effort to reduce costs while delivering a high quality mobile broadband service to our customers extends to all parts of our business," said Erik Prusch, Clearwire's chief operating officer. "By engaging Ericsson, we can achieve those objectives while serving clients around the world."
Approximately 700 Clearwire employees will transfer to Ericsson. Clearwire will keep ownership of the network assets and maintain responsibility for future technology and strategy decisions. The company will still act as the primary point of contact for all dealings with customers, wholesale partners and equipment vendors.
Ericsson will perform network engineering, operations and maintenance, including field services, 24X7 network monitoring, end-to-end engineering, provisioning and routine maintenance.
Clearwater recently has been on a financial roller-coaster. Late last year, it announced layoffs and was forced to sell secured notes to raise cash. In March, its CEO suddenly resigned. More recently, however, it was able to cancel a sale of surplus spectrum it owned because it no longer needed the cash, in part because of a $1 billion deal with Sprint. Earlier this month, it posted record earnings.