US WiMAX operator Clearwire has announced that it has entered into a seven-year managed services partnership that will see the day-to-day management of its 4G network transferred to Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson, allowing Clearwire to ‘realise operational efficiencies and reduce operating costs’. Under the terms of the agreement, Clearwire will retain ownership of all network assets, and bears full responsibility for all future technology and strategy decisions, whilst Ericsson will be responsible for network engineering, network monitoring, provisioning and routine maintenance. As part of the agreement, approximately 700 Clearwire employees are expected to transfer to Ericsson whilst continuing to perform their network functions. In 2009, Ericsson entered into a similar network management partnership with Sprint, Clearwire’s largest shareholder and chief wholesale partner.
Erik Prusch, Clearwire’s chief operating officer, commented: ‘Clearwire’s effort to reduce costs and maximise efficiency while delivering a high quality mobile broadband service to our customers extends to all parts of our business. By engaging Ericsson, a proven leader in managed network services, we can achieve those objectives, and benefit from their extensive global expertise and best-practices developed while serving clients around the world. We greatly appreciate the tireless contributions the talented people on our network services team have made in building Clearwire’s 4G network and laying the foundation for our success. We are pleased they will have new opportunities within Ericsson to support our customers, and further position Clearwire as the leader in mobile broadband’.