Softbank Corp. aims to strengthen its wireless holdings in the United States as Sprint Nextel Corp. said it reached a deal to acquire 100 per cent ownership of Clearwire Corp. for $2.2 billion US. Sprint, which said in October it would be acquired by Japanese mobile carrier Softbank, said in a release Monday it will purchase its remaining 50 per cent stake in Clearwire for $2.97 US per share and “strengthen its position and increase competitiveness in the U.S. wireless industry.” Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, said it intends to use Clearwire’s 2500 MHz spectrum as the frequency is migrated to LTE. Clearwire is based in Bellevue, Wash. “Today’s transaction marks yet another significant step in Sprint’s improved competitive position and ability to offer customers better products, more choices and better services,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement. “Sprint is uniquely positioned to maximize the value of Clearwire’s spectrum and efficiently deploy it to increase Sprint’s network capacity. We believe this transaction, particularly when leveraged with our SoftBank relationship, is further validation of our strategy and allows Sprint to control its network destiny,” he said. Softbank said in October it had a deal to purchase Sprint for $20.1 billion US, giving it an ownership stake of 70 per cent. Sprint's purchase of Clearwire was unanimously approved by Clearwire’s board, the release said, adding that Comcast Corp., Intel Corp. and Bright House Networks LLC, which collectively own about 13 percent of Clearwire’s voting shares, will support the transaction. The purchase is conditional on regulatory and shareholder approvals, as well as Sprint’s transaction with SoftBank, the release said. Both transactions are expected to close mid-2013, the release said.