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Intel plays matchmaker with Sprint and Clearwire

$2bn bid to save WiMAX

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It looks like Intel has saved American WiMAX from certain destruction.

According to The Street, Clearwire and Sprint are on the verge of announcing a joint WiMAX venture backed by $2bn from the world's largest chip manufacturer.

Both Sprint and Clearwire are doggedly building broadband wireless networks based on the fledgling WiMAX standard, but neither has much hope of reaching a nationwide audience on their own.

In July, Sprint agreed to combine its Xohm network - yes, Xohm network - with Clearwire's WiMAX offering, but by November, the two companies had ripped this agreement to shreds, complaining of "complexities."

But even then, Sprint said that Xohm would still go ahead - and that Clearwire would still provide a helping hand.

Over the past few months, we've heard more than a few rumors that Sprint and Clearwire would kiss and make up - and most of these rumors speculated that Intel would facilitate. We all know that Intel has already invested a fair amount in WiMAX, offering silicon for devices that use the new wireless standard.

And now it looks like the rumors were true. The Street claims that "in the next few days," Sprint and Clearwire will create a brand new company that combines their two networks.

This is all fine by us - as long as they call this combined network something other than Xohm . ®

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