Clearwire And Ericsson Nail Down 7-Year Agreement

Clearwire and Ericsson, sitting in a tree? They probably aren't kissing, but they are in cahoots now. Clearwire just announced plans to leverage Ericsson's global best practices, tools, and processors in order to "maximize effeicients, provide continued network quality and reduce operating costs." That's a mouthful, but it boils down to something fairly simple. Clearwire will be retaining ownership of all network assets and full responsibility for future network decisions, but Ericsson will gain responsibility for network engineering, operations and maintenance. Also, Ericsson will be adding around 700 Clearwire employees, so that's good news there.

It's a new seven-year partnership that'll almost definitely end up benefiting consumers, and it'll probably place Clearwire in a better spot financially.

Key aspects of the partnership include:

  • Clearwire retains ownership of all network assets and full responsibility for future technology and strategy decisions.
  • Ericsson will be responsible for network engineering, operations and maintenance, including field services, 24X7 network monitoring, end-to-end engineering, provisioning and routine maintenance.
  • Clearwire will remain the primary point of contact for all interactions with customers, wholesale partners and equipment vendors.
  • Approximately 700 Clearwire employees are expected to begin performing their network functions as Ericsson employees in locations around the United States before mid-year 2011.  

"The responsibility for network engineering, operations and maintenance of one of the leading mobile broadband networks in North America is one that Ericsson takes very seriously," said Angel Ruiz, head of Ericsson's North American operations. "We look forward to welcoming the Clearwire employees to Ericsson and appreciate the unique skills and expertise they bring to our company."

"This managed services partnership is the next logical step for both Clearwire and Ericsson, one that will have significant near-term and long-term benefits for Clearwire's employees, customers, retail distributors and investors," observed Berge Ayvazian, Senior Consultant with Heavy Reading. "It also represents Ericsson's second managed services contract in the U.S., building on the Network Advantage agreement that has already delivered major operational and economic benefits for Sprint."