updated 04:40 pm EST, Fri December 2, 2011
Comcast, TWC to replace Clearwire with Verizon
As part of the very recent $3.6 billion spectrum sale to Verizon, the communications provider will wholesale its spectrum to Time Warner Cable and Comcast, CNET found. It will replace Clearwire in this respect, as it's one of the conditions of the multi-billion dollar sale. Verizon will be the exclusive partner of the two providers, Time Warner Cable spokesperson Alexander Dudley said. The transition will be done over the course of the next six months, and TWC and Comcast will need to move their existing customers elsewhere.
Clearwire's 4G service was invested in by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks early on, and a deal with Sprint Nextel was key to its survival as well. Sprint has just funded Clearwire's debt and LTE expansion plans, while Comcast and Time Warner Cable remain on as minority shareholders. While Bright House also sold some of its spectrum to Verizon, it never started up a business of selling airwaves, so it's not included in the new deal to wholesale the Verizon spectrum.
This is another setback for Clearwire despite its recent cash influx, with which it hopes to upgrade its network to 4G LTE speeds.