Although it might not make a difference to consumers, the 4G network ripping through Sprint-branded devices such as the EVO 4G doesn't actually belong to the carrier. Rather, Sprint rents use of Clearwire's network, and the two have been duking it out for months over just how much that service is worth. That battle finally came to an end today when Sprint, which happens to be Clearwire's majority owner, agreed to pay at least $1.03 billion this year and next to run its WiMAX devices on the network. The two companies also agreed to mutual wholesale rights, meaning they can sell access to each other's 3G and 4G networks to other providers. And they reached a pricing agreement for phones that offer both 3G and 4G connectivity -- a bone of contention for Sprint, whose customers can't all take advantage of 4G speeds, depending on where they live. Then again, Clearwire needs those billions precisely so that it can expand its network. As for Sprint, it can now blow less cash on legal fees -- and instead gird itself for a potential three-horse race against Verizon and AT&T&T.
[Image courtesy of Mobiledia]