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XO Taps Sprint for MVNO Services

With an interim CEO now at the helm, XO Holdings (news [1], filings [2]) made an interesting move today. The national CLEC and fiber operator is will be tapping Sprint for MVNO wireless services [3], including their Wholesale Mobile Integration services.  XO will be offering various wireless products to its SMB customers including both 4G and fixed mobile convergence.

Taking on an FMC component lets XO take on a different aspect than many other CLECs.  In the future, XO hopes even to offer SMBs the ability to have mobile calls from own location use their WiFi access points and wireline connectivity rather than those wireless towers.  That is something they will no doubt be trying to take advantage of in order to accelerate growth, although reselling probably won't help their low EBITDA margins much.

That it is Sprint that will be underlying the service makes complete sense, as XO and Sprint don't compete too often in the wireline marketplace, whereas XO does run into AT&T and Verizon a lot.  XO's future still seems likely to end in a sale when Icahn finally decides to move on, but now that I think of it perhaps it could end in some sort of combination with Sprint.  Sprint's limited investment in its fiber infrastructure reflects its age and difficulty of replacement, but XO's fiber backbone could give them a way back in and perhaps give Icahn a route into a larger telecommunications theatre.  Nah, couldn't happen.

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1 Comment To "XO Taps Sprint for MVNO Services"

#1 Comment By Carlk On October 3, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

With XO fiber leases expiring in what amounts to one more business cycle depending upon one’s definition of time spans, i.e., seven to ten years, do you think Sprint would be so short sighted? I understand that most of the lease contracts by The Fiber Baron are non renewal. Have you ever heard of a poor Baron before? The next decade might put an end to the fictional account of fiber barons being poor up until now.

You can’t be too rich, too thin, or own too much fiber in your internet diet.