Leap & T-Mobile to Swap Spectrum for 4G

Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) and T-Mobile US Inc. revealed plans to swap spectrum Monday, as both operators gear up to launch 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) over the next few years.

The transaction will give Leap, which operates as Cricket Communications Inc. , 10MHz of additional advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum in Phoenix, Ariz., and Houston, Galveston and Bryan-College Station, Texas. Leap will give T-Mobile extra bandwidth in various markets in Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The transaction also includes spectrum exchanges between Leap and T-Mobile in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Atlantic City and various markets in Texas and New Mexico.

"These transactions will enhance our spectrum depth in these markets and provide us longer term flexibility to offer a larger LTE channel," Leap CEO Doug Hutcheson said of the proposed deal in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal have not been revealed. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval before the operators can make the swap.

Why this matters
T-Mobile and Leap both need extra bandwidth to launch new faster 4G services in the U.S. as they play catch-up with their larger rivals. T-Mobile hopes to have the majority of its LTE buildout done by the end of 2013. Leap plans to deploy LTE across approximately two-thirds of its current network footprint over the next two to three years and to cover up to 25 million people with 4G in 2012.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:36:59 PM
re: Leap & T-Mobile to Swap Spectrum for 4G

So, Leap (aka Cricket) has a 3G roaming deal with Sprint, planned spectrum swaps with T-Mobile and an "LTE offload" wholesale deal with Clearwire. Going to be fun putting a handset to cover all that, no?

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:36:57 PM
re: Leap & T-Mobile to Swap Spectrum for 4G

I think Leap is doing its main LTE deployment on AWS.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:36:57 PM
re: Leap & T-Mobile to Swap Spectrum for 4G

The MSM line from Qualcomm should cover quite a bit, the 4G portion could be tricky as they don’t really say what bands that chips covers, just the technology.  So CDMA/EV-DO wouldn’t be an issue, the LTE maybe if it falls outside of 700 and 2100MHz bands which Clearwire spectrum does.

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