AT&T buys Verizon Wireless spectrum for $1.9bn

AT&T buys Verizon Wireless spectrum for $1.9bn

Summary: The spectrum deal will help AT&T bolster its network, allowing it to further expand its 4G LTE services.

TOPICS: AT&T, Verizon

AT&T has agreed to acquire airwaves from Verizon Wireless, the U.S.' largest cellular network by subscribers, for $1.9 billion, the company said today.

The deal to buy the chunk of 700 MHz from Verizon—which the cellular giant isn't even using—will help AT&T, the second largest network in the U.S., to bolster its network, the firm said today in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

AT&T will acquire the spectrum with a mix of cash and contribution of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in five markets.

It noted that the spectrum will help to cover 42 million people across 18 states, including California, Washington, New York and Florida. By acquiring the spectrum, AT&T will continue to deploy 4G LTE services "meet demand for mobile Internet services on a wide array of smartphones, tablets and other devices."

The company said in November that it plans to reach 300 million people in the U.S. with its next-generation mobile broadband speeds by the end of 2014.

The deal will be completed in the second half of 2013, and is subject to approval by U.S. regulators.

It comes only days after AT&T acquired the U.S. retail wireless operations of Atlantic Tele-Network (ATNI) for $780 million in cash, including wireless properties, licenses, network assets, and retail stores.

The move was to help bring AT&T coverage to particularly rural areas of Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina.

Topics: AT&T, Verizon

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  • That does not benefit consumers

    There are too many mergers/buy-outs, all of which do little to expand services into rural areas. $1.9 b would have really expanded services, now there will be little expansion. No business should ever have more than 25% of the market share in any one area. Any company that exceeds 25% should be denied any more acquisitions until they fall below 25%.
  • Not the point

    Your premise is an early 20th century view of monopolies and the progressive view of the way a company should beforced by the government to invest the money it earns. It is the responsibility of every company to invest its resources where they provide the greatest benefit for the stock holders and customers. Spending money to provide services in areas where there is little or no demand and no chance of recovering the investment would be a failure of the actual responsibility of the leaders of the companies involved. When the government regulates industries by providing "some" businesses with monopolies or subsidized resources, while denying them to others is an abuse of power. When government officials are allowed to pick winners and losers and to help inefficient entities to continue to waste resources for the benefit of those who are members of the party in power is an abuse of power. No one gains when the government controls market share except the politicians. Everyone else loses.
    • Not the point

      Thanks, bob_e_y, you saved me the trouble of typing in something similar.
      rocket ride
    • Benefiting Consumers is better

      ShaneDr, your premises is that rapacious capitalism of the period 1750 to 1929 and 1980 to the present is better for the long term health of society. It ain't. All it does is allow the maximum return on capital, which fosters very fast change in the short term, but uses up natural resources and burns through people physically and mentally.
  • What about the "West"

    Once you get outside the suburbs of the cities in the West, AT&T coverage is really bad. ND, SD, MT, WY, ID, CO, UT, NV, NM, AZ and parts of eastern WA & OR and even small parts of CA are only covered by Verizon and some regional carriers. Even then I have driven for 2 hours in the high plains of CO with "NO SERVICE" unless I stopped and got out and stood on the top of my Pick-Up truck's bed and then only got 1 or 2 bars for a short time. It would be nice to get a second carrier to keep things honest and for the coverage.