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MetroPCS, Cricket could be in for big 2012

It seems a little early for earnings reports, but that’s what we got yesterday from both MetroPCS and Cricket. Unfortunately, neither fared particularly well in the fourth quarter when compared to the same period last year. Metro added 197,000 subscribers, down from 298,000 last year, while Cricket added 175,000, down from 300,000. In terms of churn both companies stayed relatively level year-over-year, though Cricket appears to have lowered its rate a bit. That wraps up 2011 for both companies, but what lies ahead in 2012 could be quite exciting.

After AT&T’s failed takeover of T-Mobile, they’re exploring other ways to acquire spectrum. Verizon already jumped in on Cox’s spectrum, leaving AT&T with fewer places to turn. While the government wasn’t ready to approve the 2nd and 4th largest wireless carriers merging, perhaps it would be more amenable if AT&T went after the 5th or 6th biggest carrier.

AT&T would probably rather pick up both. After all, both are regional carriers and only own so much spectrum. Picking up both probably wouldn’t even give them as much as the T-Mobile deal would have. It wouldn’t have brought in the same number of customers, either. T-Mobile has over 20 million subscribers, while MetroPCS and Cricket have just over 15 million between them.

At the same time, both companies are moving forward with their own initiatives. Cricket has started rolling out LTE networks, and is doing well with its Muve Music service. MetroPCS already has a few LTE networks, has plans for further expansion, and has a few other ticks up its sleeve. As we learned yesterday, they’re bringing live local TV to their smartphones in 2012. It promises to be a big year for both companies.

Numbers via FierceWireless.

2 Responses

  1. David Says

    cricket is the worse it saids it on long island but its not. When i call to see if was any good the service was trouble. i hate most of there phones.they feel cheap and they are cheap

    Posted on January 6th, 2012 at 9:20 am
  2. Red777 Says

    Hey do-do, Verizon bought UNUSED AWS spectrum to add to its new LTE overlay that it is implementing on 700 mhz and AWS.

    Why would T pursue two operators PCS/LEAP who are already spectrum starved (i.e. with 16mm subs squeezed into that spectrum, like overpacked) that operate REGIONALLY on 1900mhz andAWS, when AT&T is implementing LTE on 700mhz and already gave up large parts of its AWS spectrum to T-Mobile as part of the break-up fee — i.e. it has NO use for the spectrum bands that PCS/Leap hold beside the fact that they are already fully occupied using a totally different techonology.

    Go back to writing sports blogs or keepin tabs of the kardashians sinc eyou have no clue about the wireless telecom — neither did the JPM analyst where you plagiarize this thinking from.

    Posted on January 6th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

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