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3G/HSPA

MetroPCS Files for IPO

Starting off a year that is already shaping up as the most vibrant wireless IPO market since 2000, low-cost cellular provider MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) could have the first billion dollar-plus initial public offering of 2007 in the telecoms sector.

The Dallas-based company has filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial offering expected raise $1.13 billion. The IPO is being underwritten by Banc of America Securities LLC , Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. , and Morgan Stanley .

This isn't the first time that MetroPCS has attempted to go public. It filed for a $500 million flotation in the Spring of 2004. This, however, was shelved by the summer of the same year pending a review of accounting issues.

The operator also isn't the only wireless company aiming to go public in 2007. Aruba Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ARUN) and Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) have both recently filed as well, while industry sources say a Trapeze IPO is also likely. (See Trapeze Swings for IPO in 2007.)

MetroPCS's rivals include all of the Big Five U.S. wireless carriers as well as similar low-cost operators such as Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) The company currently operates in parts of California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Texas but has been acquiring spectrum to serve more large markets.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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