MetroPCS interested in a Leap tie-up, but mum on details

MetroPCS appears to be interested in a merger with prepaid rival Leap Wireless, but a key company executive declined to elaborate on the topic.

"Obviously, we're very interested in the combination of our companies," MetroPCS CFO Braxton Carter said at an investor conference. He declined to provide a specific timetable for such a deal or whether it was even on the table.

Though not surprising, Carter's comments are notable because MetroPCS had refused to comment on reports that both it and Leap have hired bankers to advise them on strategic options. Carter noted much has changed since MetroPCS tried to acquire Leap in 2007, and that many of the factors that motivated that effort are no longer relevant--but he said there are still reasons to move ahead with such a deal.

Leap spokesman Greg Lund declined to comment on Carter's remarks.

Carter also touched on MetroPCS' LTE plans. He said the company hopes to have LTE deployed in many of its markets by the second half of the year, with more markets coming online next year. The company wants to launch prepaid LTE services without device subsidies. Interestingly, Carter said MetroPCS will focus more on LTE handsets than data cards.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)

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