open mindedness to hooking up with Clearwire for a national WiMAX network has blossomed into something just a little more serious, it seems. The two companies have announced that they'll be collaborating on making mobile WiMAX a reality in a comprehensive agreement that covers roaming and combined marketing efforts under a single to-be-announced brand name. Specifically, Sprint will be responsible for covering about 185 million potential customers with Clearwire swooping in for another 115 million over the next few years; 100 million total are expected to be covered by the end of 2008, which is curiously the exact same number Sprint had been throwing around on its own accord before the agreement was announced. This is a pretty serious deal, too -- the two are bound in holy matrimony for at least 20 years with options for up to three 10-year renewals. Looks like that hot WiMAX smartphone from Palm might still be in the cards, eh?