Sprint Nextel Corp , the majority owner of Clearwire Corp , can cut its voting rights in Clearwire without reducing its economic interest in a move to help Sprint avoid liquidity risks if Clearwire ever runs out of cash.

Sprint is a 54 percent owner of wireless venture Clearwire, which needs to raise billions of dollars more to help it complete construction of a high-speed wireless network.

Sprint previously disclosed that if Clearwire defaults on its debt, Sprint risks breaching of its own debt agreements as long as Clearwire is viewed by debtholders as a Sprint subsidiary.

Under a new agreement with Clearwire, if Sprint reduces its voting rights in Clearwire below 50 percent, it would avoid those risks as Clearwire would no longer be viewed as a subsidiary after such a move, Sprint said on Monday.

Spokeswoman Cristi Allen said Sprint had not decided if it would take this step, but wanted the flexibility to do so in case the need arises.

Sprint also said that while it has no plans at present to acquire Clearwire, it is still in discussions with the company regarding further investment.

Sprint said it has yet to decide if it will buy $760 million in Clearwire convertible bonds, which it has the right to purchase until January 2.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew. Editing by Robert MacMillan)