Leap Wireless is considering using wholesale agreements to get into the 4G space, company President and CEO Doug Hutcheson said at a UBS conference today.
Hutcheson said the company was considering entering into deals with third parties to get into the 4G space. When asked whether Leap would consider deals with Clearwire or LightSquared for WiMAX or LTE service, Hutcheson said: "Among others, yes. Those would be examples."
"We're not focused on doing it all ourselves," Hutcheson said of the company's 4G plans.
Hutcheson said the company would build what he called "hotspots of 4G" beginning next year and stretching into 2013 as devices become more readily available at price points suitable for Cricket's prepaid customers.
Hutcheson also touched on the long-rumored possibility of a merger between Leap and MetroPCS Communications. He said he didn't have any update on the rumors, but admitted that "the synergies seem to be inherent in many of these combinations" and went on to discuss the company's recent acquisition of Pocket Communications in southern Texas.
Hutcheson was optimistic about Leap's financial performance in the fourth quarter of this year. Customers have responded well to the company's all-inclusive rate plans, and uptake of the company's new smartphones has exceeded expectations, and its churn rate is improving, Hutcheson said.
"We're seeing customers move into these devices at a pretty attractive rate," he said.