Deutsche Telekom Eyeing 4G Via Clearwire, MetroPCS?

Last week the rumor was that Deutsche Telekom wanted to buy Sprint Nextel Corp., something the analysts said would be a terrible move.

This week the rumor is that Deutsche Telekom might be taking a more back-door approach. Bloomberg says Deutsche Telekom wants to get into the 4G game in the United States and would do that by gaining access to Clearwire Corp. (CLWR)– and MetroPCS Communications (PCS)-controlled airwaves.

Reception to that idea seems to be a bit warmer than a direct takeover of Sprint. One reason is that Clearwire needs funding – Deutsche Telekom could provide that in return for airwave access. And Deutsche Telekom owns T-Mobile, whose financial performance the past few quarters has been nothing if not lackluster. If Deutsche Telekom scores a deal with Clearwire and MetroPCS, T-Mobile will finally be able to pursue fourth-generation technologies. It’s lagging behind larger rivals in this area.

“This would be an answer that would be good news for everyone,” Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., told Bloomberg. “It helps check the box for T-Mobile, which is desperately seeking a 4G answer.”

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