T-Mobile USA Confirms Partnership Talks With Clearwire


T-Mobile USA is indeed looking for a U.S. partner to help finance a high-speed data network. T-Mobile USA CEO Robert Dotson said Thursday that his company — which has admitted it is losing business because many of its customers cannot even get 3G — is looking “at JV opportunities for additional spectrum” and has talked with both cable companies and also with Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR). There have been reports since September that T-Mobile USA was in partnership discussions with Clearwire, which is located only a few miles away from its Bellevue, Wash.-area headquarters.

Earlier reports stated that Sprint (NYSE: S) Nextel would also be involved in some way, since it owns 51 percent of Clearwire. There have also been reports that Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT) was considering purchasing Sprint outright. But in his remarks Dotson downplayed any direct combination with that company saying, “What you never want to do is take one company that is going through challenges and take another company going through challenges.”

Other possible partners for T-Mobile USA include MetroPCS and AT&T (NYSE: T). Deutsche Telekom has also been said to be mulling either an IPO or spinoff of the fourth-largest U.S. carrier.

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