The on-again, off-again relationship between Clearwire and Sprint Nextel may be entering a new phase. The Wall Street Journal reported last week, citing unnamed sources, that Sprint is considering an additional investment in Clearwire beyond the $1 billion in payments that it agreed to fork over earlier this year.
Sprint already owns 54 percent of Clearwire, the broadband wireless company that has encountered its share of tough times in recent months. (Following a round of layoffs and a series of executive changes, just last week Clearwire announced that Erik Prusch was taking over as CEO).
The company is in need of financing to expand its network, including a plan announced last week to roll out a high-speed LTE network in addition to its existing WiMax network.
The Journal reports that Sprint’s investment in Clearwire would be “substantial” and depends on how fast the company can restructure. Clearwire has said that it has enough cash to last for another year.
Shares of Clearwire surged on the news last week, but shares are down slightly in trading on Monday morning. Clearwire’s stock, down 63 percent on the year, took a big hit last month after Sprint announced a multi-billion dollar strategic partnership with LTE vendor LightSquared.