Sprint, the country’s third-largest cellphone company, said Monday that it will buy out the portion of wireless network operator Clearwire that it doesn’t already own after raising its offer price to $2.2 billion.
The deal would give Sprint control of a flailing affiliate, one it depends upon to provide high-speed “Sprint 4G” data services on some of its phones. It would increase Sprint’s access to the airwaves, meaning it could boost data speeds in coming years. However, cell towers using Clearwire spectrum have poor range, making it difficult to provide broad coverage. Sprint Nextel Corp. said it will pay $2.97 per share for the nearly 50 percent stake in Clearwire stock it doesn’t already own.News Tribune news services