Sprint Nextel (S) Still May Make a Play for MetroPCS?

Sprint Nextel CorporationNot so fast on that merger deal. Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is mulling its options, but it seems that the announced merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS may actually have a new bidder in the process one way or the other, according to some sources in a story that came out Friday afternoon.

The word is that Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is considering stepping into the bidding process, though it hasn’t decided which way it will go. On the one hand, Sprint Nextel Corporation (S) may step in and make a potentially larger bid for MetroPCS, or wait until the merger goes through and make a play for T-Mobile USA, whose parent company would own 76 percent of MetroPCS.

Both Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA are mired as the Nos. 3 and 4 wireless carriers in the U.S., with total subscriber numbers of about 90 million being less that either wireless leader, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), while both have more than 100 million. Many analysts have suggested that the wireless marketplace was likely to see some consolidation in the near term, with MetroPCS and Leap Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP).

Some analysts say that Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) may need to get aggressive in consolidation or it might get left behind in the marketplace. There are some investors, like billionaire fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, who will likely keep an eye on the next moves in the wireless space.