Report: T-Mobile close to spectrum deal with Clearwire

T-Mobile USA is reportedly close to a deal to purchase wireless spectrum from Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR), which is aiming to sell off some of its vast holdings to fund its operations.

According to Bloomberg, which cited two anonymous sources, a deal could happen by the end of the first quarter. T-Mobile has indicated it needs more spectrum but isn't in a rush to acquire it, which means it can hold the upper hand when it comes to the price of the spectrum. Meanwhile, Clearwire has reportedly attracted only T-Mobile as a major operator interested in its spectrum. And it needs the sale or an equity investment to help it fund its continued rollout of mobile WiMAX technology.

Clearwire faces running out of cash by mid-year ahead of a bond sale. In December, the operator raised $1.325 billion in bonds and exchangeable notes. It appears that Sprint, its largest owner, and its cable owners Time Warner and Comcast don't want to invest any more in the operator, which has suspended retail operations in new markets.

Clearwire's shares jumped 11 percent, or 56 cents, to $5.84 on Friday.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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