Sprint secures spectrum, half a million customers in U.S. Cellular deal

Sprint has secured additional spectrum from U.S. Cellular in a deal worth $480 million.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

An agreement with U.S. Cellular will give Sprint addition spectrum for its national 4G LTE deployment.

sprint gains half a million customers additional spectrum us cellular deal

Announced Thursday, American telecommunications firm Sprint Nextel has finalized a deal with U.S. Celluar for $480 in cash and the assumption of particular liabilities. Under the terms of the deal, Sprint will gain 20 MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900 MHz band in various Midwest markets. The gained spectrum -- becoming a hot commodity as companies grapple with 4G technology and rising mobile data demand -- will boost Sprint's resources in parts of Chicago, South Bend, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

In addition, the third-largest U.S. cellphone carrier will gain 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in the St. Louis market.

“This transaction will enable us to strengthen our business and become a more robust competitor,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO. “Acquiring this spectrum will significantly increase Sprint’s network capacity and improve the customer experience in several important Midwest markets including Chicago and St. Louis.”

Sprint will also gain approximately 585,000 U.S. Cellular customers, although once the deal is approved by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Cellular will still continue its operations outside of these markets. This figure represents roughly 10 percent of U.S. Cellular's customer base.

According to reports, 980 U.S. Cellular jobs will be lost within the sale, and Sprint will not be taking on additional employees. 

The deal is expected to close by the middle of 2013. Customers will learn about Sprint's intentions and transition plans once the agreement is finalized.

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