Analysts believe Sprint Nextel remains a viable competitor but see 2013 as a rocky year due to the need to spend more on capital and uncertainties over its bid for Clearwire's valuable wireless spectrum. "While we continue to believe that Sprint has the assets and now financial backing to succeed in the wireless space, 2013 looks like a year of heavy capital investment and uncertain subscriber momentum," JPMorgan analyst Philip Cusick said in a research note.

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