KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) – Shareholders of telecommunications company Clearwire Corp. have approved a plan to merge with Sprint Nextel Corp.'s wireless broadband network.

Clearwire investors voted to accept the deal Thursday during a special meeting. Now Clearwire and Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint expect to close the deal by the end of the year.

The $14.6 billion venture, also to be called Clearwire, will continue developing a mobile network based on WiMAX technology. WiMAX promises faster speeds than the latest cellular networks for movies, games and other data services. Sprint currently offers the service in Baltimore under the Xohm brand.

Google Inc., Intel Corp. and a group of cable companies will also invest in the new Clearwire.

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