Sprint Hungry for More Spectrum

Published on February 21, 2013
by John Paczkowski

cell_tower2Sprint’s $2.2 billion Clearwire acquisition will give the company an enhanced spectrum portfolio, but it has no plans to stop there in its efforts to catch up with larger rivals like Verizon and AT&T.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says the Clearwire deal (which Dish is trying to thwart) is simply a starting point. To ensure that it remains competitive in the years ahead, the company must seek even more spectrum.

“Clearwire would give us a strong spectrum position for a period of time,” Hesse told Bloomberg. “But we also have a very long-term view, and we would want to acquire more spectrum.”

Now that Sprint has tarted up its formerly weak balance sheet with an $8 billion cash infusion from Japan’s SoftBank — currently under regulatory review — the company is actually capable of executing Hesse’s plan, which it must if it hopes to make a stand against its rivals. With consumer demand for wireless data spiking, carriers are moving to increase their network capacity. And spectrum licenses are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Better to acquire additional spectrum now, than rather than scramble to make up lost ground later.

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