T-Mobile to acquire 10MHz of LTE spectrum from US Cellular in $308 million deal
LTE spectrum is a hot commodity, and if you’re hurting for cash, it might not be a bad time to let some go. US Cellular just inked a deal to unload 10MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum, padding its pocketbook with a whopping $308 million in cash. Pending FCC approval, that wireless load will be making its way over to T-Mobile, which would then own the vast majority of AWS. It’s good news for T-Mobile customers, no doubt, especially those in the Southeast — according to a press release, the spectrum T-Mob just snatched up covers 32 million people in cities like St. Louis, Memphis, Little Rock and New Orleans.
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T-Mobile Agrees to Acquire AWS Spectrum in Mississippi Valley Region from U.S. Cellular
Transaction Further Enhances Portfolio of Nationwide Broadband Spectrum; Expands LTE Coverage to New Markets and Deepens 4G LTE Roll-out in 29 Key Markets
BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 28, 2013– T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary has signed an agreement to purchase 10 MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) for $308 million in cash. The spectrum covers a total of 32M people in 29 markets in the Mississippi Valley region – notably in St. Louis; Nashville; Kansas City; Memphis; Lexington; Little Rock-North Little Rock; Birmingham; New Orleans; and Louisville. This additional spectrum will allow for an incremental roll-out of T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network coverage to new markets and expands the existing 4G LTE bandwidth in the important Mississippi Valley region.
“In today’s marketplace, spectrum is gold,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “This is a rare opportunity to secure precious AWS spectrum in key markets that will immediately be put to use by both T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers. This deal expands our network and capacity, allowing for a broader roll-out of 4G LTE and an even faster and more reliable 4G experience for our customers – in addition to spurring competition in the wireless marketplace.”
The agreement is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice, and other customary closing conditions. Following regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.
By Zach Honig