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Leap completes spectrum swap with T-Mobile USA

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:19pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Leap Wireless International today announced that it has completed a previously announced spectrum swap with the T-Mobile USA/Cook Inlet joint venture, in which T-Mobile has a non-controlling majority interest. 

Under the agreements, Leap acquired 10 MHz of additional AWS spectrum in Phoenix, AZ and Houston, Galveston and Bryan-College Station, TX to supplement the spectrum Leap currently operates in those markets, among others. Leap and Savary Island Wireless also assigned T-Mobile and Cook Inlet spectrum in various markets in Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

According a press release, the transactions also included intra-market exchanges between Leap and T-Mobile in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Atlantic City and various markets in New Mexico and Texas, and between Leap and Cook Inlet in certain markets in Texas.

Financial details of the swap were not disclosed.

Doug Hutcheson, Leap's president and CEO, said in a statement that the closing of the agreements will allow the company to enhance the delivery of its wireless services in key markets through the realignment of spectrum. "In addition, we now have added depth to our spectrum in select markets providing us with longer term flexibility to offer a larger LTE channel," Hutcheson said.

Leap also announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Cricket Communications, has completed the acquisition of the remaining 15 percent controlling membership of Savary Island Wireless for approximately $5.3 million in cash. As a result of the acquisition, Savary Island and its subsidiaries became wholly owned subsidiaries of Cricket.

At a recent investor conference, Hutcheson said that Leap’s LTE network currently covers approximately 25 million points-of-presence (POPs), and the carrier has set of goal of 60-65 POPs million by the end of next year. Meanwhile, Cricket has signed a five-year agreement with Clearwire for wholesale access to its unbuilt TD-LTE network.

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