Clearwire hands off operations to Ericsson

Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) is giving Ericsson control of day-to-day operations of its 4G network for the next seven years, including network engineering, operations and maintenance, network monitoring, end-to-end engineering, provisioning and routine maintenance, the two companies said in a news release.

By removing these day-to-day operational responsibilities, Clearwire can "reduce costs and maximize efficiency," Erik Prusch, the wireless provider's COO said in the news release.

The deal touches nearly every part of the Clearwire business. The wireless provider--which is majority owned by Sprint (NYSE: S) and with investments from cable operators Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks--"retains ownership of all network assets and full responsibility for future technology and strategy decisions," the release said. It also remains the primary contact point for customers, wholesalers and vendors but about 700 Clearwire employees will move over to work for Ericsson before year-end.

Berge Ayvazian, a senior consultant with Heavy Reading said in the release as that the partnership is "the next logical step for both Clearwire and Ericsson."

For more:
- see this news release

Special Report: Wireless startups: FierceWireless' Fierce15 - 2011

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