Sprint Eying Spectrum Purchases Beyond Clearwire
Clearwire's spectrum won't be enough to sate Sprint's needs, according to CEO Dan Hesse. "Clearwire would give us a strong spectrum position for a period of time,' said Hesse to Bloomberg, "but we also have a very long-term view, and we would want to acquire more spectrum." Sprint is currently seeking regulatory approval to purchase the remaining 49% of Clearwire that it does not already own. Doing so will give it complete access to Clearwire's 2.5GHz spectrum. Ultimately, however, Sprint will need more in order to compete with AT&T and Verizon Wireless. "Given the increases in data usage we are seeing, we will continue to be interested in spectrum as it comes to market. It could be more deals like spectrum from other companies like we did with U.S. Cellular or it could be FCC auctions." Hesse stopped short of announcing any new deals, however. Sprint itself is in the process of selling a 70% stake to Japan's Softbank for $20.1 billion. Both that sale and its Clearwire acquisition are awaiting government approval.