Sprint is moving on towards LTE and Clearwire remains focused on WiMAX

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) was long the majority of Clearwire Corp. (CLWR), a publicly traded telecommunications company.  Among Clearwire's recent accomplishments, it has perhaps been best known for deploying Sprint's WiMAX network, which gained the company much attention, but ultimately failed to significantly impact Sprint's subscriber stake.

While Clearwire still co-owns and operates much of the U.S. WiMAX network Sprint uses, the company's relationship has been diminished of late due to a couple of factors including Clearwire's financial misery and the company's decision to refocus its WiMAX efforts on networks in regions like Spain that had expressed more interest in the rival standard, LTE.

Sprint previously cut its voting stake of shares to less than 50 percent.  At the time it says it did so to avoid Clearwire's possible loan default hitting a default trigger on its own debt (which Sprint has a lot of).  Now it says that despite Clearwire weathering the storm, it's reduced its overall stake of non-voting shares to its lesser stake.

Sprint and Clearwire are slowly drifting apart in aim and investment. [Image Source: TNW]

Scott Sloat, Sprint spokesperson commented, "Now that our economic interest has fallen below 50 percent, we are reclaiming our full voting rights so that our voting rights and economic rights are once again aligned."

Expect the companies to perhaps drift a bit further apart as Sprint explores other options for its LTE efforts.  Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), Time Warner, Inc. (TWC), Google Inc. (GOOG), and Intel Corp. (INTC) are among the other major corporate holders of Clearwire shares.

Source: Reuters

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