Leap Wireless sets roaming pact with LightSquared

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 22, 2011 1:47 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Leap Wireless International <LEAP.O> has entered a roaming agreement with broadband and satellite company LightSquared, it said on Tuesday.

The new agreement will add to the high-speed coverage provided by Leap's Cricket business, giving it extra capacity to handle the demands of data-hungry products like smartphones. Cricket is planning to deploy more high-speed LTE coverage across its own network over the next few years, it has said.

As it does so, Leap, a low-cost carrier, will be able to access more network capacity from LightSquared, a start-up funded by private equity firm Harbinger Capital Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement comes on the heels of AT&T Inc's <T.N> $39 billion move to scoop up Deutsche Telekom AG's <DTEGn.DE> T-Mobile USA, a deal that has drawn further attention to the rising demand for networks capable of handling demands of popular new gadgets <ID:L3E7EL0X8>.

In light of the AT&T deal, some analysts and bankers have speculated that Leap Wireless or LightSquared could themselves become takeover targets, potentially of Sprint Nextel Corp.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker and Paul Thomasch; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)