US round-up: AM quashes T-Mobile takeover talk; MVNO ROK targets 1m subs; nTelos, DISH expand fixed-wireless LTE tie-up

23 Jul 2014

America Movil (AM) does not have any plans to acquire a US carrier, the company’s management clarified during the Mexican firm’s second-quarter earnings call. This week rumours have swirled that AM could make a play for a large US operator such as T-Mobile US, using funds raised from the imminent sale of certain domestic assets. According to Fierce Wireless, AM’s management team has underlined that the company has not changed its US strategy, and is comfortable with its existing TracFone mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business in the US. In related news, AM reported that Tracfone’s subscriber base reached 25.519 million by 30 June, up 10.8% year-on-year, principally due to the acquisition of fellow reseller Page Plus Cellular.

ROK Mobile, the recently launched music-focused MVNO, aims to sign-up a total of one million customers within the next 15 months, chairman and co-founder Jonathan Kendrick told Fierce Wireless. He also noted that ROK hopes to land a third major US carrier partner by the end of the year. While Kendrick has yet to confirm the identity of ROK’s current carrier partners, Fierce believes that it has partnered with T-Mobile US and Sprint. Kendrick told the US website: ‘We’re running on 50% of the four largest [US] networks. We’re in negotiations with the third network. We believe by the end of the year ROK Mobile will be on three of the four networks’.

Regional mobile operator nTelos Wireless and satellite TV giant DISH Network have confirmed plans to extend their ongoing 2.5GHz fixed-wireless Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployment to residents in other parts of Virginia, including selected areas of Charlottesville, Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg and Roanoke. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the two companies initiated their collaboration with a pilot programme back in June 2013.