T-Mobile USA Considers 4G Partnership

T-Mobile is struggling in fourth place among the large wireless phone networks. They’re hoping to change that, however.

While Verizon gets their 4G wireless network ready for release later this year, T-Mobile is in talks with the private equity firm Harbinger Capital to help build theirs. Harbinger Capital met with T-Mobile executives in March to discuss how they would build a 4G network using LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology that would cover most of the United States by the end of 2015. The FCC has given the project a go, but is requiring the provider to only sell wholesale.

T-Mobile’s already done a good deal to boost their current network. According to CNET.com, “Neville Ray, senior vice president of engineering and operations at T-Mobile USA, said in a recent interview that with the 30MHz of spectrum it acquired in the Advanced Wireless Spectrum auction a few years ago, it has plenty of headroom to grow its 3G network. That said, the company still plans to upgrade to 4G wireless using LTE in the future. And earlier this year, Robert Dotson, CEO of T-Mobile USA, confirmed the company had spoken to Clearwire and cable companies about a joint venture.”

With the talks to both Clearwire and Harbinger¬†Capital, it looks like a joint venture is inevitable. So far T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, is silent about the ordeal, but I’d imagine that’s so they don’t jump the gun and ruin negotiations.

Will a partnership work for T-Mobile? No idea, but they better come up with something fast to stay in the game or they’ll be banished to the lower rungs of the wireless phone success ladder.