US round-up: Leap end-date outlined; Baja scoops up Comcast markets; AT&T promises fibre boost

6 Jun 2014

AT&T Mobility looks set to shutter Leap Wireless’ CDMA network as early as next March, according to a statement on the company’s revamped Cricket’s website. On a webpage dedicated to updating pre-paid brand Cricket’s support of the government subsidised ‘Lifeline’ programme, the carrier states: ‘Cricket is upgrading its CDMA network to 4G and expects to stop offering CDMA wireless service as early as March 2015’. AT&T, which acquired Leap for USD1.19 billion in March this year, is looking to free up the smaller company’s spectrum and network assets to support its continued rollout of LTE services.

DS Telecom’s Baja Broadband cable subsidiary has expanded its presence in its New Mexico market by buying two cable franchises in the markets of Lovington and Socorro, from Comcast for approximately USD1.9 million. These cable properties reside near several existing Baja markets in the state and will increase Baja’s geographic concentration in New Mexico, Fierce Cable reports.

AT&T has made another concession to get regulatory approval of its USD48.5 billion proposal to acquire satellite TV giant DirecTV, Fierce Telecom reports, by promising that it would extend fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services to more locations if the deal is ratified In a regulatory filing, AT&T said that completing the DirecTV deal would enable it to upgrade around two million homes to its fibre-based, Gigapower broadband service, while expanding broadband coverage overall to 13 million locations.

As Sprint Corp nears an agreement to buy rival cellco T-Mobile US, Bloomberg has revealed that T-Mobile US chief executive John Legere has been lined up to serve as CEO of the combined company. 56-year-old Legere – the self-styled ‘rebel of the wireless industry’ – has been named by two people familiar with the matter as the enlarged company’s eventual boss.

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