The service will cost $70 a month for unlimited voice, text and Web
After starting amid the smoldering ruins of AT&T and T-Mobile USA's failed merger, 2012 ended as a big year for mobile carrier deals in the U.S., and possibly a final changing of the guard for a long time.
Sprint Nextel will spend $2.2 billion to take complete ownership of Clearwire, a move that will help it expand its network capacity.
Sprint Nextel's proposed buyout of network partner Clearwire may be inevitable, and it could help Sprint keep its signature unlimited mobile data plans alive.
Sprint Nextel has offered $2.1 billion, or $2.90 a share, for the nearly one-half interest in mobile broadband firm Clearwire that the company doesn't already own.
Sprint Nextel is in negotiations to acquire the remainder of Clearwire, its 4G WiMax network partner, according to news reports.
The four largest mobile carriers in the U.S. -- AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile -- have agreed to accelerate the availability of emergency texting, or text-to-911.
Showing that it's serious about quickly phasing out its venerable iDEN network and traditional push-to-talk service, Sprint Nextel now plans to charge all subscribers on that system an extra $10 per month beginning Jan. 1.
In the annual rankings of major U.S. cellphone carriers, Verizon Wireless retained the top spot while AT&T once again brought up the rear. But AT&T can at least note that its 4G LTE network was the top-ranked among carriers.