MetroPCS says uniquely placed for Clearwire deal

NEW YORK Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:30pm EDT

NEW YORK Oct 13 (Reuters) - MetroPCS Communications Inc sees itself as "uniquely positioned" to forge a spectrum deal with Clearwire Corp .

Clearwire shares rose 28 percent after MetroPCS Chief Financial Officer J. Braxton Carter told an investor conference a deal with Clearwire could help his company fill a shortfall in its wireless spectrum holdings.

"We think that we might be uniquely positioned to maybe do something with Clearwire," Carter said, noting MetroPCS could forge a wholesale agreement to use Clearwire spectrum in major metropolitan markets.

But Carter said he was looking at all options and also mentioned AT&T Inc as a potential source of spectrum if that operator ends up divesting spectrum to gain U.S. government approval for its proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA, a Deutsche Telekom AG unit.

Carter's comment was source of relief for investors in Clearwire, which has most recently been subject to bankruptcy speculation triggered by comments from its biggest client and shareholder Sprint Nextel Corp on Oct. 7.

MetroPCS shares rose 43 cents or 5 percent to $8.96 after Carter's presentation. Clearwire shares rose 36 cents to $1.66 on Nasdaq after the comments. Sprint shares were up 23 cents or almost 9 percent at $2.80 on New York Stock Exchange.