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Talks of MetroPCS acquisition renewed

It’s going to happen at some point. Whether it happens in the next few months is really the only question at this point. We’ve known for years that MetroPCS would change forms in some way or another. Back in 2007 we thought they’d merge with Cricket and form a fuller national carrier. Those days seem to have passed, though. More recent reports surrounding MetroPCS involve them being acquired by a larger company. We already heard earlier this year that Sprint nearly acquired MetroPCS, and word is that they’re back in the hunt. But there are others at play, and that could cause some changes atop the wireless world.

The Financial Times has a long write-up on the situation. The suitors are said to include T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish Network. Again, it seems odd to see Sprint involved, given their earlier rejection of Metro. But Metro has gone a long way in building out its LTE network, and Sprint could benefit greatly from it as it rolls out its own LTE network. T-Mobile would benefit in the same way; the nation’s No. 4 carrier was slow to roll out LTE and could get a head start with a MetroPCS acquisition.

That might appear unlikely, because T-Mobile itself sounds as though it wants to be acquired by a larger entity. There have been talks of the German company merging with Sprint, but as FT notes, “there are concerns about the strength of Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s balance sheets.” That leaves Dish, which has shown intentions to get into the wireless game. They own spectrum, so acquiring MetroPCS could propel their efforts and make it easier to expand to more markets.

This might seem like the boy who cried wolf. We’ve heard about MetroPCS being acquired for years, but they’re still independent. At this point, given the size of Verizon and AT&T, it’s just a matter of time. I’d put my money on Dish, just because of the issues Sprint and T-Mobile face. I’d then put money on those to merging, leaving us with a Big Four of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint-Mobile, and Dish.