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What: Shares of wireless network operator Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) leapt upward 22% before pulling back in volatile trading after announcing a collaboration with China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) to accelerate the development of 4G TD-LTE devices.

So what: TD-LTE, which stands for Time Division-Long Term Evolution, is being developed by China Mobile, and bears many similarities to regular 4G LTE that AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) are in the process of adopting. The announcement says that both companies have conducted successful trials and will work jointly to accelerate time-to-market availability and are hoping for commercial availability starting in 2012.

Now what: Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, but the announcement is still a positive indication that although Clearwire may be down, it's not out. The move is another sign of Clearwire's commitment to building LTE into its existing WiMAX network after betting a little too much on the latter. The company is still hanging on by a thread as it burns through massive amounts of cash. Clearwire only has $78.8 million in cash and equivalents left as of last quarter, down from $1.2 billion only six months prior. Today's news is good, but it still may be too little, too late.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of AT&T, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of China Mobile. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of China Mobile and AT&T. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.