Sprint Nextel Corp. CEO Dan Hesse is getting more aggressive in his hunt for wireless spectrum, thanks in large part to a recent cash infusion.
Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, has seen competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. aggressively buy up spectrum, the telecom industry’s most valuable resource. The Overland Park, Kan.-based company needs to add capacity to keep its data service running as demand for streaming video grows from mobile users. Sprint is looking for deals with other companies or through government sales, Hesse said in an interview.
In the two months after Softbank Corp.’s October agreement to spend $20 billion to take over Sprint, Hesse’s company agreed to $2.6 billion in purchases, mostly in an attempt to seize control of Clearwire Corp. That comes following a year of almost no spending on spectrum.
As Sprint looks to buy up more, its options include buying capacity from smaller carriers, buying the carriers outright or acquiring licenses in government auctions.