Sprint CEO Dan Hesse yesterday talked about Sprint’s relationship with Clearwire at D: Dive into Mobile, the tech conference put on by the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital blog.
In a video posted online, Hesse discussed the relationship between the two companies. Sprint holds a 54 percent stake in Clearwire, which is building the WiMAX network on which both companies’ 4G products and services run.
Hesse said that perceived competition between the companies in the wholesale arena is more complicated than it looks from the outside.
“It’s not necessarily competing. There’s no reason you can’t be in both businesses,” Hesse said, referring to wholesale and consumer products. “But I think the real issue is what a company considers its core business.”
Hesse explained that the terms of the deal between the two companies were set to keep Sprint and Clearwire as separate entities, giving Sprint little control over Clearwire’s business plan.
“We don’t control the board and don’t control the company, so even though our economic ownership of the company is 54 percent, we don’t have, if you will, voting control over these kinds of issues,” Hesse said, adding that this is why the two companies don’t consolidate their earnings.