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June 14, 2007

Clearwire teams up with EchoStar/DirecTV

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 9:45 AM

Clearwire announced that it has signed distribution agreements with DirecTV and EchoStar Communications.

The agreements allow both satellite companies to offer Clearwire's high-speed Internet service to their customers. In return, Clearwire will be able to offer the video services of one or both satellite companies to its customers.

The bottom line is that in markets where Clearwire operates, all three companies will be able to bundle together, TV, high-speed Internet access and voice services, as a competitor to both cable and telecom companies.

The launch is planned for later this year.

"We're pleased to partner with these two satellite companies as they both share our commitment to offering a superior customer experience by enabling customers to enjoy the benefits of unwired services," said Perry Satterlee, Clearwire's president and chief operating officer. "By expanding the reach of our services through DIRECTV and EchoStar, and by incorporating direct-to-home satellite video services in our own distribution channels, we believe we have an opportunity to significantly expand our business opportunity."

Still, this announcement doesn't address whether a deeper relationship is brewing among the three companies. At one point, it was heavily rumored that one of the satellite companies, or both, would make a substantial investment in Clearwire.

In early morning trading, Clearwire's stock jumped $3.17, or 15.95 percent to $23.04 a share.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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