Sprint Nextel has tapped the capital markets to raise $4 billion to fund its own network upgrade and possibly help Clearwire's operations, but the carrier paid a price. Sprint issued $3 billion in seven-year notes at 9% and $1 billion of 10-year notes at 11.5%, meaning investors think the carrier will remain competitive, but they want a rich reward for their risk. "The fact that funding Clearwire is mentioned as a possible use of proceeds suggests the companies are moving in the right direction," Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin said in a research note.

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