Clearwire’s Spectrum Is The Best Thing It Has Going For It — So Why Sell?

Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR) frequently lists its tremendous amount of spectrum holdings as one of the distinct advantages it has over the competition. But now it is considering a fairly controversial move that could include selling off a swath of its precious airwaves to raise enough capital to pay for its 4G network build-out.

So, should it sell?

In a recent quarterly conference call, Clearwire’s CEO Bill Morrow admitted the options for raising capital include partnering with T-Mobile USA, which would receive a wholesale deal on the network in return for an investment, or to the surprise of many, another idea was to sell the company’s most valuable asset: spectrum.

Clearwire is now in advanced stages of considering a sale with an auction reaching a second stage, Bloomberg reports. According to people with direct knowledge of the sale, Clearwire could raise up to $5 billion in an auction that could fund the entire business without having to raise additional capital. Potential bidders in the auction are: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), and Clearwire