Sprint Nextel and other investors are getting ready to inject at least $1.5 billion into Clearwire, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal that cited unnamed sources “familiar with the matter.”
The sources said Sprint would kick in $1 billion, while Clearwire investors Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks would provide an additional $500 million. Google is not contributing to the new round of financing.
Google had previously invested $500 million in the company and later took a $355 million writedown on the deal when Clearwire’s stock price tumbled.
A spokesman for Clearwire declined to comment on the report. More news of the deal may come out in Clearwire’s third quarter earnings report, which is slated for 4 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow. Sprint did not reply to requests for comment by press time.
Clearwire is currently in the process of building out a nationwide mobile WiMAX network and says it’s on track to cover 120 million people in 80 markets by year-end 2010. Already, Clearwire has burned through between $1.5 billion and $1.9 billion this year to build out its network.
The company’s 4G service is currently available in several markets, including Las Vegas, Chicago and Portland, Ore. Clearwire investors Sprint and Comcast are currently reselling the service under their own brands, and Time Warner plans to follow suit in December.
Last December, Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable, Google and Bright House Networks invested $3.2 billion into Clearwire. Sprint handed over its WiMAX assets and is the company’s majority shareholder.