MetroPCS may team with LightSquared for 4G

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
Flat rate US carrier MetroPCS is dropping increasingly heavy hints that it will partner with LightSquared once that company builds out its satellite/terrestrial LTE network.
 
“If they can get funding and if they can get the network built, it's a wonderful option for us,” the cellco's CFO, Braxton Carter, said.
 
Speaking at last week's Morgan Stanley technology and telecoms conference, a traditional platform for US firms to set out their strategies to the investment community, Carter amplified on comments previously made by other MetroPCS executives.
 
The regional carrier was the first US operator to launch LTE services, but lacks sufficient spectrum capacity to compete with Verizon or Clearwire on high end data services, focusing mainly on enhancing its flat rate CDMA offerings.
 
It also lacks national coverage, since its roaming partner Leap does not have near term LTE plans. One plan might be for MetroPCS and Leap both to use LightSquared's wholesale network to provide 4G on a nationwide basis. Carter recognized that “we will need 4G roaming partners.”
 
LightSquared has said it has secured wholesale deals with two carriers and a retailer, but has not named them. It is said to be in negotiations with both Sprint and T-Mobile.
 

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