Sprint And Affiliate Sue Each Other Over Legality Of New WiMax Effort

from the bad-blood dept

In certain markets, Sprint has always used affiliates to sell its service, rather than building out its own efforts. Some of those affiliate relationships caused problems back in 2004/2005 when Sprint merged with Nextel -- as Nextel's service existed in some of those markets, potentially "competing" with the Sprint affiliates who had agreements that Sprint would not compete directly. So, with the new WiMax joint venture with Clearwire, Sprint knew that the big affiliate iPCS would be upset. In fact, last week, Sprint sued iPCS in Delaware seeking a declaratory judgment that the new joint venture did not break their agreement with iPCS. That lawsuit appears to have been filed slightly before iPCS filed its own lawsuit in Illinois against Sprint. Chances are the two suits will be combined in some manner, but it's yet another hurdle that Sprint needs to clear before it can get this new WiMax offering off the ground. Sprint may have a decent claim here -- as the agreement with iPCS is focused only on 1.9GHz spectrum, whereas the WiMax network is on 2.5GHz spectrum. Either way, it seems like these affiliate relationships may be a lot more pain than they're worth.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: affiliates, contracts, countersuits, exclusivity, wimax
Companies: clearwire, ipcs, sprint


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    alaric, 13 May 2008 @ 6:15am

    iPCS might have a good case too

    Depends on how they defined exclusivity and if it was beyond the band (1.9 ghz) to include services.

    Clearwire effectively means that sprint will not seek to evolve its cdma network for at least a while (i think they have to do LTE personally) and that sprint and the affiliates could lose customers to Clearwire.

    I'm sure that'll make for good legal points.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ari Zoldan, 24 Jul 2008 @ 10:03am

    WiMAX

    Hi,

    I have been reading your posts for a while now, and i appreciate the time and effort you put into it. I always look forward to your next post to hear your opinion and input. I myself do a blog about WiMAX and was very interested in this particular post. I have a blog site - www.goingwimax.com.
    Please comment on the website about how you feel about WiMAX and the site. If you would ever like to do some link exchanging, I would love my blog viewers to check out this site. Feel free to contact me!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.