Deutsche Telekom is reportedly looking for partners for T-Mobile USA, according to the German newspaper Handelsblatt. The report named AT&T, Clearwire and MetroPCS as possible partners, as well as unnamed financial investors outside the wireless industry.
The report, citing unnamed sources from the German telecom giant, said that the company seeks a partner to finance T-Mobile's network expansion. T-Mobile is still building out its 3G coverage and is planning an aggressive upgrade to HSPA+ beginning next year.
In September, both Clearwire and MetroPCS were named as possible partners for T-Mobile USA in a Bloomberg report. That report said Deutsche Telekom was considering partnering with the companies to gain access to their spectrum holdings.
The Handelsblatt report said the discussions about a partner were in early stages, and also said that a possible acquisition of Sprint Nextel is off the table. Rumors swirled in September that Deutsche Telekom was considering making a bid for Sprint.
The news comes as T-Mobile begins to seriously struggle in the U.S. wireless market. The company's subscriber growth has slowed, and in the third quarter the carrier lost 77,000 net wireless subscribers. Perhaps in response, T-Mobile recently unveiled several low-cost, unlimited service plans.
- see this Reuters article
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Report: Deutsche Telekom may acquire Sprint