Sprint: No plans to buy out partners in Clearwire

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) has no plans to buy out its partners in the Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) WiMAX venture anytime soon, according to Sprint's Chief Financial Officer Robert Brust.

Brust was addressing analysts' assertions that Sprint would try to gain full ownership of Clearwire to increase its control of the company, which would be beneficial in terms of dictating market rollouts. Sprint owns about 55 percent of Clearwire. Other investors include Comcast, Time Warner and Intel. Brust said such a deal now would be too expensive for Sprint.  

"The path that's probably likely is that we'll continue to infuse some equity (investments) over the coming years and maybe some way down the road to take control of it," Brust said during an investor conference. "An imminent move on that would just be very expensive."

In addition, Brust said Sprint Nextel is evaluating final bids from six vendors on a massive network modernization project that will decrease the number of the carrier's cell sites from 66,000 to 46,000.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- read this FierceWireless article

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