Sprint Eyeing Xohm Spinoff
And possible Xohm merger with Clearwire...
With the recent departure
of Sprint CEO Gary Forsee, there was ample speculation that Sprint would put the brakes on Xohm
-- Sprint's mobile WiMax service slated for launch next year (to the tune of $5 billion). The service, which will offer users 2-4Mbps wireless broadband for around $40-$50, was championed heavily by the now-departed CEO. As we saw with FiOS, investors are nervous about the heavy deployment costs and slow returns.
One solution that's been tossed around is that Sprint would spinoff Xohm and merge the unit with Clearwire, with the goal of dumping the capex requirement on Clearwire. Sprint had previously planned to split their mobile WiMax network build with Clearwire 65/35. The Wall Street Journal
confirms that such a spinoff is on the table:
Now, Sprint's board is considering a number of options, including spinning off its WiMax unit and merging it with Mr. McCaw's company, with the resulting entity potentially going public. Other options for Sprint include trying to attract a strategic investor for its WiMax unit, acquiring Clearwire outright or formalizing the deal struck in July. Many of these options were considered in the companies' initial talks earlier this year.
Before Sprint makes a move, they're going to wait until a new CEO is in place, a process that could take several months.