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Clearwire’s annual report said its subscriber base declined 8 percent year-over-year to 9.6 million people. The carrier blamed the decline on the fact that Sprint Nextel is no longer selling smartphones that run on Clearwire’s WiMAX network, reports Fierce Wireless.

Clearwire’s subscriber base consists of around 1.4 million retail subscribers and 8.2 million wholesale subscribers (mostly Sprint subscribers), reflecting 9,000 retail net subscriber additions and 915,000 wholesale net subscriber losses during the fourth quarter.

Clearwire executives declined to discuss either Dish’s bid or Sprint’s offer to buy remaining shares of the company.

Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch said the company remains on track to turn on 2,000 TD-LTE sites by the end of June and 5,000 by the end of 2013. Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran said the company is budgeting $600 million to launch 8,000 TD-LTE sites, and that $200 million to $250 million of that will come from vendor financing agreements.

Clearwire has named Huawei and Samsung as its LTE TDD suppliers. Clearwire has also been testing 2.5GHz TD LTE devices at the test site in Phoenix with China Mobile.

However, Clearwire’s buildout plans could become moot if Sprint acquires Clearwire and rolls the company’s spectrum and network equipment into its own Network Vision deployment plans.

The ZTE Grand Era LTE is the first dual-mode TDD/FDD LTE phone, and with some tweaks, it could be the first phone for the new, combined Sprint/Clearwire LTE network.

The Grand Era LTE delivers a maximum network speed of 100 Mbps, supporting LTE over 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz, and is also compatible with 3G services (but not CDMA).

Sprint reported close to 100 million POPs with LTE and expects to cover 200 million with its LTE network by the end of 2013, according to their annual report. Sprint plans to use Clearwire’s forthcoming TD-LTE network as a hotspot offload network for its own LTE service.

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