MetroPCS vows independence, may make acquisitions

MetroPCS, buoyed by subscriber growth and flush with cash, said it will remain an independent player and hinted it may use its market position to acquire smaller telcos.

"We're going our own way," MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist said in an interview with Bloomberg News. The flat-rate carrier is not shopping around for an acquisition right now, but "there are a few opportunities" to purchase smaller companies, he said. Linquist did not specify what companies MetroPCS may acquire.

The comments are notable following Verizon Wireless' blockbuster acquisition of Alltel, a CDMA carrier much like MetroPCS.

MetroPCS reported a 20 percent increase in revenue in the first quarter, to $795 million, up from $622 million in the year-ago quarter. The carrier also had a record 684,000 net subscriber additions in the quarter. MetroPCS raised about $500 million through a note sale, which the company may use either to build out its LTE network or acquire smaller companies.

The carrier, which has faced increasing competition from rivals such as Sprint Nextel's Boost Mobile prepaid unit, has said it will launch LTE in the second half of 2010. The carrier, which currently operates a CDMA network on AWS and PCS spectrum, said in August that it had picked LTE as its 4G standard, following the lead of Tier 1 operators Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg News article

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