In an attempt to ease investor concerns, Sprint Nextel disclosed in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday that it had reduced its Class B voting stake in fourth-generation (4G) WiMax broadband network operator Clearwire from 54% to 49.8% to reduce the risk that Sprint would be held liable for Clearwire’s debts in the event of default. Sprint’s action fulfills an option that Clearwire had earlier granted to Sprint to sell off a portion of its Clearwire voting shares “at any time to the extent Sprint determines in good faith that such actions are reasonably necessary to eliminate or ameliorate any risk that a breach or default by Clearwire . . . could trigger a cross-default or cross-acceleration under Sprint’s debt agreements.” Clearwire, which continues to deploy its network in cities nationwide, is seeking additional funding from investors as it has only enough cash on hand to continue operations for another year. Sprint, meanwhile, resells Clearwire mobile broadband services to its customers under the Sprint brand name and thus depends heavily on Clearwire for its 4G wireless strategy. Sprint’s decision does not impact the company’s economic stake in Clearwire (which remains unchanged at 54%) or its governance rights. As a spokesman for Clearwire affirmed that his company “enjoys a productive working relationship with Sprint,” Sprint said the reduction of its voting stake was aimed at “proactively providing protection and flexibility with respect to [our] debt agreements.”