The wireless broadband provider has entered into a deal to help China Mobile (NYSE: CHL ) build out a high-speed LTE network, roughly equivalent to similar networks that AT&T (NYSE: T ) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ ) are building here.
But this deal isn't just about the network. The two companies also said in a press release that they plan to create an ecosystem for multimodal devices designed for China Mobile's TD-LTE network, which uses the same 2.5-gigahertz band that Clearwire has operated in for years.
Support for multimodal devices is where this partnership gets interesting. Confused? Don't be. "Multimodal" refers to handsets imbued with radios capable of sending and receiving data from a wide range of network protocols. Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone 5 is expected to be exactly this sort of device.
If rumors are to be believed -- and with Apple, they usually are -- the device will perform just as well on AT&T's, Verizon's, T-Mobile's, and Sprint Nextel's (NYSE: S ) varying networks. Now China Mobile is gearing up to host these sorts of smart handsets.
Clearwire, for its part, gets a deep-pocketed partner that may be able to provide the cash infusion it needs. Will the deal pay off? Will Clearwire escape its debt dilemma? I'm asking you. Please vote in the poll below and then use the comments box to tell us what you think about Clearwire's prospects.