Report: Clearwire selling off spectrum for more funding

In what appears to be a last resort in garnering more funding, Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) is aiming to sell some of its vast amount of spectrum to raise between $2.5 billion and $5 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

Despite having big-named backers such as Sprint, which owns 54 percent of the company, Comcast, Intel and Time Warner, it appears that none of them want to plug additional money into the WiMAX operator. Tensions have recently increased over the strategic direction of the company, according to published reports.  

The Bloomberg report, citing unnamed sources familiar with the deal, said that AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), T-Mobile USA parent Deutsche Telekom and Clearwire investor Time Warner have expressed interest in acquiring the spectrum. So far the companies have engaged in two rounds of bidding, which is private and is being managed by Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg said.

Clearwire holds approximately 120 megahertz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz to 2.6 GHz band. Bloomberg said the operator is aiming to sell about 40 megahertz of that. Clearwire has long touted its vast spectrum holdings as an operating advantage when it comes to network speed and capacity.

T-Mobile and Clearwire have been holding discussions about whether the operator will become a wholesale partner of Clearwire. Recently, Sprint said it had no interest in taking ownership of the operator, while Comcast said it is unlikely to up its 9-percent interest.

Meanwhile, Clearwire appears to be slowing down and delaying launches in some of its markets, including Denver and Miami.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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