MetroPCS sizes up DISH, T-Mobile and Sprint as potential partners

2 Oct 2012

Texas-based mobile carrier MetroPCS has embarked on a renewed attempt to secure a partner for a potential merger, DealReporter reports, and has lined up T-Mobile USA, Sprint Nextel and DISH Network, a satellite TV operator with aspirations to reinvent itself as a Long Term Evolution (LTE) provider, as potential suitors. The story, which cites an unnamed source close to the matter, said that MetroPCS’s conversations with some of the companies have been ongoing, while others were merely ‘off and on’. None of the parties involved has commented on the report, and fully-fledged negotiations are still believed to be some way off.

In May this year a rumoured deal between T-Mobile and MetroPCS was greeted with scorn by both industry insiders and analysts, sceptical of the latest in a long line of rumoured tie-ups. Most recently, in February 2012, Sprint Nextel pulled out of a USD8 billion deal to acquire MetroPCS over concerns about the asking price. Previously, in 2011 Sprint discussed buying T-Mobile USA, on the lookout for deals that would help it pose a more credible threat to bigger competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. Any potential merger between T-Mobile and MetroPCS would offer something of a logistical nightmare; although they both utilise AWS spectrum, MetroPCS is a CDMA carrier while T-Mobile uses GSM technologies. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal in May, Sanford Bernstein’s Craig Moffett likened the proposed deal to putting ‘a baby’s head on a monkey’s body’.