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4G/3G/WiFi

Clearwire Says It Won't Sell Spectrum

Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) says it won't sell spectrum to raise funds now that it has a $1 billion wholesale pricing deal with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S).

"I view that the spectrum sale is something we don't have to consider in 2011," Clearwire's interim CEO, John Stanton, said on Wednesday afternoon's earnings call. "I think it would be prudent for us to be in a position to hold that spectrum -- all the spectrum -- even that which is beyond what we immediately need."

Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran noted that the company had received multiple bids for its excess spectrum, but climbing network usage rates, coupled with the new wholesale deal with Sprint, will help Clearwire double its wholesale revenues by year's end. (See Clearwire's Spectrum Sale and Sprint Gives Clearwire $1B Boost.)

Cochran says Clearwire can still raise funds by issuing more stock, securing an equity investment from a strategic partner, financing more of its debt or selling its nonessential assets.

Clearwire, which expects to be EBIDTA positive by early 2012, says it has enough cash to fund operations for at least 12 months.

The company sidestepped questions about Sprint's "Network Vision" project, which could involve a move to Long Term Evolution (LTE). However, CTO John Saw says the company will complete its LTE testing by mid-2011, and it has been pleased with the results so far. (See MWC 2011: Sprint Plotting LTE in 2012 or 2013? and Sprint Picks Companies for Network Vision.)

Clearwire set record subscriber growth in the first quarter with 1.8 million new sign-ups, comprising 1.6 million wholesale subs and 155,000 retail customers. It now has 6.1 million total customers, and expects to have 9.5 million by year-end. (See Clearwire Posts Q1 Loss.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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