Leap Wireless and Metro PCS have inked a national roaming deal that would cover both networks' present and future markets. Plus the two firms have ended all litigation between the two companies, according to a joint statement.
The roaming deal, which has an initial 10-year term, will allow the two regional carriers to provide interoperable service for their customers. The two companies, which were embroiled in merger talks last fall and into the beginning of this year, also announced a spectrum exchange program, with Leap getting 10 MHz of spectrum in Fresno, San Diego, Seattle and other Washington and Oregon markets, and Metro PCS getting 10 MHz in certain markets, including Dallas-Ft. Worth, Shreveport-Bossier City, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida and in other North Texas markets.
The deal brings to a head a relationship that was less than cordial last year. Leap rejected Metro PCS's unsolicited $5.5 billion offer last September, and the two were locked in merger talks and speculation for months. FierceWireless predicted in January that the two companies would merge by the end of the year, and while there is no word that such a merger is imminent, this announcement certainly adds a level of closeness between the carriers.
-see this release
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The backstory of the deal