Bloomberg reported T-Mobile US began evaluating options to create its own fibre network, a move an analyst told Mobile World Live (MWL) could be necessary for the operator to remain competitive.

The news agency stated T-Mobile was mulling a fibre JV or commercial partnerships to expand beyond its mobile market.

Bloomberg added the operator had enlisted Citigroup to find partners for a possible $4 billion fibre build, along with considering tie-ups with FTTH providers.

Analyst Jeff Kagan told MWL T-Mobile “sees this as a necessary competitive move”, with a fibre move enabling it to become a full service provider.

T-Mobile launched a FTTH service in residential buildings in Manhattan in 2021. Any move to deploy its own fibre would bolster such offerings along with providing backhaul for 5G traffic.

The operator may also be eligible to bid for government funds covering broadband deployments in the nation.

T-Mobile executives have long argued leasing fibre was more economical than building capital-intensive networks like AT&T and Verizon, though the rivals argue there are economic benefits to ownership.

Last month, Bloomberg reported AT&T was seeking its own fibre JV, which could be valued at $10 billion to $15 billion.