Clearwire ‘too expensive’ for Sprint, for now

16 Sep 2010

Sprint Nextel is not currently interested in buying out its partners in Clearwire, the US WiMAX network operator, but may consider such a transaction later, writes the Financial Times. Robert Brust, Sprint Nextel’s chief financial officer, told investors that a Clearwire buyout would be too expensive at present. He was responding to analysts’ speculation that Sprint Nextel might seek full ownership of Clearwire in order to increase its control of operational issues such as plans to expand into new markets and adopt other 4G technologies. Sprint Nextel currently owns about 55% of Clearwire, with the rest of the equity spread between a group of cable companies including Comcast and Time Warner, and technology partners including Intel and Google. ‘The path that’s probably likely is that we’ll continue to infuse some equity over the coming years and maybe some way down the road to take control of it’ Brust told analysts. ‘An imminent move on that would just be very expensive.’

United States, Clearwire, Sprint Corporation (now part of T-Mobile US)