MetroPCS Chief Sees Prepaid Consolidation

MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist said that there will likely be mergers in the crowded prepaid wireless market soon.

Lindquist spoke at the Reuters Global Technology Summit, stating that an ideal would be three prepaid wireless carriers. Currenly in addition to MetroPCS, there is Leap Wireless, Four Sprint brands including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Common Cents Mobile. Of course there are the other major carriers that are also offering prepaid plans as well. He noted that as pricing competition becomes more intense, the operators with higher operating costs will feel the pressure.

Linquist declined to comment on whether MetroPCS and Leap will merge. The two have long been rumored as likely candidates for a merger, and earlier this year several reports said that both MetroPCS and Leap had hired outsiders advisors to explore the possibility of a deal. Leap rejected a $4.7 billion takeover bid from MetroPCS in 2007.

MetroPCS plans to launch prepaid LTE services later this year, and Linquist said that the company is exploring ways to acquire more spectrum. He did not provide any more launch details for the service, but said that the first LTE customers will likely be from its traditional customer base.


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