Fresh on the heels of a potential massive cash infusion from Japan’s Softbank, Sprint announced earlier this morning that it plans to buy out the founder of Clearwire, Craig McCaw, with a huge $100 million check. This transaction will make Sprint the majority shareholder, bumping its ownership in Clearwire up to 50.3% from 48.1%.
This is great news for both Sprint and Clearwire, which have been sharing networks and resources since Clearwire’s WiMAX network first launched back in 2010. Clearwire has massive spectrum holdings which it has been unable to effectively utilize due to a lack of cash, and Sprint now has the cash to start taking advantage of that spectrum with LTE.
This news might indicate a change of heart on Sprint’s part, as well, since Sprint has shown a reluctance to work very closely with Clearwire since it started building out its own LTE network. But with Softbank soon to control Sprint, that might be changing very quickly.
In any case, it will certainly be very interesting to see what comes out of this financial transaction, including whether or not this will help Sprint’s future LTE plans.
[LA Times] Thanks, Bill!