Leap Wireless International, Inc., a provider of wireless communications services, announced on Monday that it has entered into definitive license exchange agreements with T-Mobile USA, Cook Inlet/VS GSM VII PCS, a joint venture between T-Mobile and Cook Inlet in which T-Mobile has a non-controlling majority interest, and Leap's non-controlled, majority-owned venture Savary Island Wireless, to exchange wireless spectrum in various markets.
According to a Leap Wireless (San Diego, Calif., USA) spokesperson, in certain markets the bands of spectrum Leap and T Mobile (Bellevue, Wash., USA) own are separated by other bands of spectrum owned by others. It’s more efficient to have the bands contiguous rather than separated, says the company.
The transaction would result in Leap acquiring 10 MHz of additional AWS spectrum in Phoenix, Arizona and Houston, Galveston and Bryan-College Station, Texas to supplement the spectrum Leap currently operates in those markets, among others.
Leap and Savary Island have agreed to assign T-Mobile and Cook Inlet spectrum in various markets in Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The transactions also include intra-market exchanges between Leap, T-Mobile and Cook Inlet, in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Atlantic City and various markets in Texas and New Mexico, and between Leap and Cook Inlet in certain markets in Texas. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
"These transactions will enhance our spectrum depth in these markets and provide us longer term flexibility to offer a larger LTE channel. As we have previously announced, we plan to cover approximately two-thirds of our current network footprint with LTE technology over the next two to three years," said Doug Hutcheson, Leap's president and chief executive officer. "In addition the transactions will allow us to re-align spectrum in key markets into contiguous channels thereby optimizing our delivery of wireless services.”
Financial details were not disclosed. When asked if Leap was working on similar swaps with other carriers the company declined to comment.