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Schaumburg firm wins round against Sprint Nextel
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Published: 9/16/2008 10:05 AM

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Sprint Nextel Corp. must face a lawsuit by affiliate IPCS Inc. over a $14.5 billion plan to build the first national WiMax network, an Illinois state court judge ruled, according to a company statement.

Cook County Circuit Judge Kathleen Pantle in Chicago rejected a request by Sprint, the third-biggest U.S. wireless- service provider, to dismiss or delay the suit by three IPCS subsidiaries. The units seek to block Sprint's planned WiMax venture with Clearwire Corp., IPCS said today in the statement. Schaumburg-based IPCS claimed the combination would violate its exclusivity agreements with Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint.

Sprint and Kirkland, Washington-based Clearwire announced plans in May to combine their high-speed wireless businesses to construct the first national network for WiMax, a standard for laptops and mobile phones that can transmit data five times faster than current technology.

"We are delighted with the Illinois court's decision," IPCS President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy Yager said in the statement. `Over the past few years, the exclusivity provisions of our affiliation agreements have been continually tested by Sprint.'

IPCS manages some of Sprint's U.S. wireless network. The company seeks an order blocking the transaction, according to the lawsuit, filed May 12. A related complaint, in which Sprint seeks a judicial declaration that the venture doesn't violate its agreements with IPCS, is pending in Delaware state court in Wilmington.