AT&T made it clear that it wanted T-Mobile’s spectrum holdings to help build out its 4G LTE network. Now that the T-Mobile deal has collapsed, the carrier is on the hunt to find more spectrum. According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T is talking with a variety of companies including Leap Wireless, MetroPCS and Dish Network as it looks to increase its access to these valuable airwaves.
The most favorable option for AT&T would be Leap Wireless because it already has a friendly relationship with the regional carrier. When AT&T was seeking approval of its T-Mobile acquisition, AT&T offered to sell some of its spectrum to Leap. Even if it could hammer out a deal that passed government scrutiny, Leap’s spectrum holdings are small and AT&T would still have to hunt for more available airwaves to help build out its network.
The Wall Street Journal says AT&T is actively talking to some of the parties, but sources familiar with the matter say negotiations are in the early stages. Any official announcement is still a few months away. In the meantime, AT&T is continuing to build out its LTE network using its available spectrum. It reportedly has enough holdings to last it for this year and the next.