Verizon has topped rival telco AT&T in the bidding war for Straight Path Communications. According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon will pay $3.1 billion for Straight Path's valuable portfolio of mmWave spectrum, besting AT&T's $1.6 billion buyout bid announced last month.
As part of the deal, Verizon will pay a termination fee $38 million to AT&T on Straight Path's behalf. Verizon and Straight Path have yet to issue official comments on the acquisition.
Straight Path owns 735 mmWave licenses in the 39GHz band and 133 licenses in the 28GHz band. These high-frequency radio waves are considered essential for the next generation of wireless networks. Current international requirements stipulate that 5G networks must be capable of downlink peak data rates of 20Gbps and uplink peak data rates of 10Gbps.
Last year, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to open up high-band spectrum frequencies above 24GHz for 5G wireless. The FCC heralded the move a "game-changer" that would provide wireless users with fiber-like capacity. For telcos, the 5G business is expected to by worth worth $1.2 trillion by 2026.
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