Sprint Raises 4G Wholesale Stance

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Overland Park, Kan. - Sprint will make it easier for regional carriers, cable companies, retailers and other companies to offer 4G service under their own brand.

The carrier has begun offering 4G airtime, billing services, customer-care service, tech support and devices that wholesale buyers of its 3G and 4G services can offer to end users, the company announced. Previously, Sprint wholesaled 4G airtime without offering the additional support services.

The change is permitted under a

revised financial agreement

that Sprint struck earlier in April with Clearwire, which sells its 4G mobile WiMAX service under the Clear brand and wholesales 4G service to Sprint. Clearwire is majority owned by Sprint but not controlled by Sprint.

Clearwire also wholesale 4G services to companies other than Sprint, but the revised agreement enables Sprint to target the wholesale market more aggressively, a Sprint spokesperson said.

As part of the more aggressive stance, Sprint has begun offering devices to go with its wholesale service. The devices are the Sierra Wireless 250U 3G/4G data card and HTC-made Detail 3G/4G handset, which is a rebranded HTC EVO Shift 4G. Sprint's 3G/4G wholesale roadmap includes additional handsets, data cards, hot spot devices and a fixed-access device due in the coming months, the company said. 


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