updated 12:25 pm EDT, Thu July 24, 2008
Sprint sells 3,330 towers
National carrier Sprint has signed a deal to sell a massive number of cellular towers, according to an announcement. The company says it is selling approximately 3,300 towers to TowerCo, a deal that should gain Sprint about $670 million in cash. Because the company still needs the towers to maintain coverage, it has arranged a licensing deal with TowerCo that will see it provide CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX support in exchange for a regular leasing fee.
Sprint is reticent to talk about the motives for the deal, except to say it should provide "additional liquidity" that will give the carrier "greater flexibility in managing our company." It is likely however to be a means of coping with harsh declines in its business, as evidenced by the loss of 1 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2008 alone. The company could also lose its independence to SK Telecom, which is based in South Korea.