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4G/3G/WiFi

Sprint/LightSquared Deal Expected Soon

A long-rumored network-sharing deal between Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and LightSquared could be announced as early as next week, now that Sprint has finalized its latest agreement with WiMax partner Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR). (See Sprint Gives Clearwire $1B Boost.)

A deal between Sprint and LightSquared, which is planning to deploy a first-of-its-kind hybrid satellite and Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the U.S., has been whispered about for months.

"Timing is always very difficult to predict, but my understanding is that they are currently in discussions and a deal is expected to be announced 'shortly,'" says Analyst Michael Nelson of Mizuho Securities USA Inc.

Neither Sprint nor LightSquared was prepared to comment on the prospects of a deal when Light Reading Mobile contacted them Tuesday. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, however, didn't rule out a wholesale deal when asked about it in March, describing it as "technically feasible and possible" to support different partners on its network. (See Sprint's Hesse on LightSquared & Clearwire and Which Carriers Is LightSquared Working With?) Rumors started swirling late February about a possible deal between Sprint and LightSquared. The TechieInsider and DSLReports both had early reports of a potential deal. Now The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a deal could happen soon and that talks have reached an advanced stage. (See Sprint's 4G Options in Flux.) Light Reading Mobile believes that the process was given additional impetus by the proposed US$39 billion AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) buyout of T-Mobile US Inc. and could be announced as early as next week. (See AT&T to Buy T-Mobile USA for $39B and What Happens to Sprint After AT&T/T-Mobile Merger?)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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