T-Mobile USA considers tie up to bolster spectrum position

T-Mobile USA, which sits in fourth place in the US mobile market, said it is looking at potential joint ventures with cable companies and wireless operators to boost its spectrum position.

Speaking at an investor's conference late last week, T-Mobile USA Chief Executive Robert Dotson said: "We continue to look at JV opportunities for additional spectrum... there are a number of different options we look at. (We) have been talking with cable companies, with Clearwire."

Dotson added that the company didn't anticipate relying on new spectrum that the FCC is expected to release to enhance broadband services. That's likely because the plan calls for freeing up 500 MHz of new spectrum for mobile broadband in the next 10 years, of which 300 MHz between 225 MHz and 3.7 GHz should be made available within five years.

T-Mobile, as it is aggressively rolling out HSPA+, needs to bolster its spectrum position. Last year many speculative reports emerged about T-Mobile tying up with CDMA operators Sprint, Leap Wireless or MetroPCS as well as a network partnership with WiMAX provider Clearwire--which heavily touts is large spectrum position.

It's not likely T-Mobile will team up Sprint Nextel, given the respective problems both companies have, Dotson said. He indicated T-Mobile USA was "not looking at how you change the configuration of the U.S. market."

In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that DT was considering an initial public offering or a spin off of T-Mobile USA in a bid to turn around its struggling US business and reassure investors.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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