Why bid when you can buy


Clearwire is a major provider of 4G wireless broadband service, but it is also in the midst of a major cash crunch. It also has licenses for spectrum that is currently sitting idle. And although the company is not going out of its way to shop it around, it may well be all ears if a prospective buyer were to knock on its door.

According to reports, the company needs as much in funding possibly approaching $1B – between $150M-$300M to maintain existing systems and another $600M for its next major rollout.

Speading at a Goldman-Sachs event, Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran noted the challenges the company is facing, and noted that the sale of spectrum may be one avenue it can pursue to meet them.

“There is definitely an understood value in the spectrum,” said Cochrane, according to a FierceWireless report. “If people were to approach us [about purchasing spectrum], it’s something that we’re open to. … It’s not one of the first things I would look at, it’s more of an opportunistic situation.”

Clearwire partners with MVPDs and other to bring its services to customers. Its self-description is as follows: “The company markets its 4G service through its own brand called CLEAR(R) as well as through its wholesale relationships with Sprint, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Strategic investors include Intel Capital, Comcast, Sprint, Google, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Broadcasters have repeatedly asked that a comprehensive spectrum inventory be completed, and all sources of potential spectrum be investigated, before taking action that could seriously damage the ability of television broadcasters to effectively serve the public interest going forward. This is more evidence supporting that request.