March 22, 2011 / 7:42 PM / 9 years ago

Leap Wireless sets roaming pact with LightSquared

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Leap Wireless International 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 $39 billion move to scoop up Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA, a deal that has drawn further attention to the rising demand for networks capable of handling demands of popular new gadgets.

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

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