CEO of MetroPCS sees mergers ahead in pre-paid wireless
Roger Linquist, the CEO of pre-paid cellular carrier MetroPCS, says he expects some consolidation in the industry. The executive says that ideally there should be no more than 3 pre-paid firms in business. Right now there are more including MetroPCS, Leap Wireless, Boost Mobile and three other similar firms owned by Sprint (Virgin Mobile, Assurance Wireless and pay-per-minute company Common Cents Mobile) and TracFone Wireless offers its Straight Talk pre-paid service through Verizon's pipelines. Linquist says that once pricing in the industry gets too competitive, those firms with more bloated cost structures than MetroPCS will be under pressure to find a partner. Linquist wouldn't comment on the continuing rumors of a deal between MetroPCS and Leap Wireless. Earlier this year, reports circulated that each company had hired outside advisers to work on a merger between the two. After all, back in 2007 Leap turned down a $4.7 billion offer from Linquist's firm. With MetroPCS launching pre-paid LTE service later this year, the company can use some more spectrum and is actively seeking it.