Leap Wireless Combines its Cricket Service With Pocket Communications in South Texas

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had advised the company on this deal. Lund did not answer that question directly. Instead, as today’s unusual South Texas snowfall swirled around him, Lund replied, “We’re interested in growing, however that might manifest itself… We’re always looking for synergies that can be brought to bear.”

Yet in explaining some background details, Lund also laid out what is, in effect, a pragmatic deal for both companies.

Lund says Pocket has been a formidable competitor since Leap began to build out its wireless infrastructure in South Texas roughly three years ago. Leap acquired the rights to multiple wireless spectrum licenses in San Antonio, Del Rio, El Paso, and other communities in 2006, when the San Diego company spent just under $1 billion to acquire the rights to almost 100 licenses throughout the United States.

The wireless infrastructure built by both companies is based on Qualcomm’s proprietary CDMA technology. So there are no insurmountable technical challenges to combining operations—and the joint venture enables Pocket to combine its 320,000 pre-paid wireless customers with Leap’s 400,000 customers. Leap says the joint venture is expected to generate significant operational cost savings after 12 months.

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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