A court decision hardens an impediment that currently blocks the proposed deal under which Sprint and its cable industry partners would buy Clearwire.

Sprint affiliate iPCS claims that the combination would violate an exclusivity agreement it has with Sprint; a Delaware Chancery Court has declined to dismiss that lawsuit.

Sprint announced in May that it would buy Clearwire – using financing contributed by several major cable companies, Intel and Google – to create a national WiMAX network (story here).

iPCS sued in Illinois to stop the deal. Sprint filed its own lawsuit against iPCS in Delaware to invalidate the Illinois suit. The Delaware court denied that attempt, but did remove two iPCS subsidiaries from the case.

The total value of the blockbuster WiMAX deal, according to the companies involved, is about $14.5 billion. Bright House, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have negotiated rights not only to bundle and resell WiMAX services as wholesalers, but also to bundle and resell 3G services – that is to say, current wireless services.

Last week, Sprint selected DragonWave’s IP backhaul solutions for its Xohm WiMAX network in North America (story here).

And earlier this week, Sprint announced that it is upgrading its Global Sprint Tier 1 IP Network to 40 Gbps using technology sourced from both Cisco and Ciena (story here). The technology is called Internet Protocol over dense wavelength-division multiplexing, or IPoDWDM. Also using the technology is Comcast.

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