Sprint sells off towers to pay down debt

Sprint Nextel has agreed to sell almost all of its towers to private tower company TowerCo for about $670 million in cash. The number of towers sold is expected to be around 3,300, leaving Sprint with a handful of towers to own and manage. While competitors have largely sold off their towers to large firms such as American Tower and Crown Castle, Sprint has always managed its own via a separate group.

Sprint now plans to lease the towers it sells to TowerCo for its cellular network as well as the WiMAX network it is helping to build. Sprint is expected to use the proceeds to pay down some of its $24 billion in debt, and the Wall Street Journal reports that it is considering a sale of even bigger assets, such as the Nextel iDEN network. Citing sources close to Sprint, the Journal says the operator has begun investigating to see where there would be any interested buyers. But it hasn't decided definitively whether to move forward with that plan.

For more:
- check out the WSJ (sub. req.)