Leap Wireless International, which lost 269,000 customers during the three-month period ended 30 September 2012, has admitted that it intends to explore ‘cost-effective alternatives’ to its existing Long Term Evolution (LTE) network deployment. Citing a company statement, RCR Wireless says that the cellco’s options include ‘deploying facilities-based coverage and/or entering into possible partnerships or joint ventures with others’. Leap previously struck an LTE roaming deal with ill-fated open-access LTE provider LightSquared, but that fell through when the latter was denied regulatory approval to utilise its satellite spectrum assets. Leap has also signed a roaming deal with WiMAX-turned-LTE provider Clearwire, although that company’s Time-Duplex (TD)-LTE network is not expected to go live until at least June 2013.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in May this year, Leap declared that it planned to expand the projected coverage offered by its in-deployment LTE network from 20-25 million people by the end of this year, to 60-65 million by late-2013/early-2014. Leap currently offers LTE access over its own network in two cities: Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada.