Clearwire to Abandon Retail Strategy

Clearwire Corp. has abandoned its retail strategy to focus on being a wholesale network provider of fast wireless service, said people familiar with the matter, opening the door for additional investment in the struggling company by Sprint Nextel Corp.

The shift represents a victory for Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers, which owns a non-controlling majority stake in the next-generation wireless-service provider and relies on the company’s 4G network to service its customers.

Sprint has long argued that Clearwire should spend its limited capital on finishing the expansion of its network, but Clearwire has insisted on maintaining an independent retail strategy that competes with the Sprint brand.

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