AT&T acquires spectrum from Verizon for $1.9 billion

The spectrum, in the 700 MHz band, covers 42 million people in the U.S.

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U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T announced today that it has completed its acquisition of spectrum from rival Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion in cash.

The 39 spectrum licenses, located in the 700 MHz band, covers 42 million people across 18 U.S. states.

The companies had announced the deal last January.

AT&T plans to use its new spectrum as part of its ongoing next-generation, or LTE, network deployment. The company seeks to increase its LTE coverage by more than 15 percent by the end of this year, with completion by next summer.

As part of the deal, Verizon acquired 1.7/2.1 GHz spectrum licenses in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Fresno, Albuquerque, and Portland; it plans to use those for its own LTE needs. (Verizon's LTE network is the largest in the U.S.)

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved the transfers on Sept. 3.