Cricket Taps Clearwire for LTE

Prepaid carrier joins Sprint as the second to use Clearwire's wholesale LTE network to fill in gaps in its 4G coverage

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

March 14, 2012

1 Min Read
Cricket Taps Clearwire for LTE

Cricket Communications Inc. will join Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) as the second customer to wholesale Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)'s soon-to-be-built Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, the companies announced Wednesday.

Terms of the five-year wholesale agreement were not disclosed.

Why this matters
With only 23MHz of spectrum reserved for LTE in the markets it serves, additional spectrum will be crucial to achieve Cricket's 4G ambitions. The contract-free carrier has LTE up and running in one market in Arizona, but plans to deploy the 4G network across two-thirds of its current footprint, reaching 25 million POPs this year. Clearwire should help it fill in the gaps of its coverage.

The customer win is also good news for Clearwire as the wholesaler needs more money and more customers for its LTE-Advanced buildout, planned for 2013. Clearwire lost some of its cable customers as a result of its spectrum deal with Verizon Wireless , but it's also expecting to sign up more operators for LTE in the wake of LightSquared 's network being blocked by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) . (See Ides of March Looms for LightSquared , Comcast, TW Cable to Halt Clearwire Sales, Sprint's $2B Debt Play May Help Clearwire, Clearwire Close to $200M in Vendor Financing and FreedomPop Bets on 4G With Clearwire.)

For more
Read up on Cricket's LTE plans below.

  • 4G: Cricket's Tiny Channels

  • Leap Launches First LTE Market

  • Verizon, Leap Swap Some Spectrum

  • Cricket's First LTE Market Coming Soon

  • Cricket Sticks With Unlimited as It Looks to LTE

  • Cricket Leaps to Nationwide

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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