Clearwire Close to $200M in Vendor Financing
Talking on the company's fourth quarter earnings call, CFO Hope Cochran said the company is looking to a secure a total of $300 million in vendor financing. This should pay for around half of the operator's proposed total $600 million spend for its LTE TDD build in 2012 and 2013.
The company is also expecting to see $687 million in 2012 from its old and new wholesale agreements with part-owner Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). This will shore up Clearwire's liquidity position until LTE comes online in 2013.
The company is planning the overlay network deployment now. It is expected that build out will start this quarter.
Overall, Clearwire is expecting to drop $450 million to $550 million on capital expenditures in 2012. Most of that spend will happen in the second half of the year.
Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch is expecting "multi-band, multi-mode" devices that can support LTE TDD and other networks to arrive in 2013. The company is working with China Mobile Communications Corp. and others to make it happen. (See Clearwire's LTE TDD Buddy System.)
Prusch didn't comment much on the LightSquared debacle after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to block that venture's proposed LTE network on Wednesday. In a response to analysts' questions, however, he hinted that Clearwire might pick up some of the 4G wholesale slack. (See FreedomPop Bets on 4G With Clearwire and FCC Moves to Block LightSquared .)
"As regards LightSquared, we continue to field a lot of inbound inquiries, and we are pleased with the opportunities in the pipeline, and that’s about as far as I’d like to go with that," Prusch said.
The operator is working with Sprint on more wholesale opportunities. "We are looking at trying to develop a whole range of wholesale models out there," Prusch commented.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile