Verizon has made a number of deals with smaller carriers lately to unload its 700MHz spectrum, and it's now struck a deal with a big one. AT&T announced today that it's buying a large swath of spectrum in the 700 MHz B band from Verizon for $1.9 billion in cash and AWS spectrum licenses. That spectrum covers some 42 million people across 18 states, including some areas that aren't currently covered by AT&T. Expectedly, the switchover won't happen overnight -- AT&T expects the deal to close sometime in the second half of 2013, assuming it gains the necessary regulatory approval. You can find the full list of states covered by the spectrum in the press release after the break.
AT&T Agrees to Acquire 700 MHz Spectrum from Verizon Wireless
Dallas, Texas, January 25, 2013
AT&T* announced in an 8-K filing today that it has agreed to acquire spectrum in the 700 MHz B band from Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion in cash and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in several markets, including Phoenix, Ariz., Los Angeles and Fresno, Calif. and Portland, Ore.
The 700 MHz licenses to be acquired by AT&T cover 42 million people in 18 states - California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
This acquisition complements AT&T's existing holdings in the 700 MHz B band and will allow AT&T to continue to quickly deploy 4G LTE services to meet demand for mobile Internet services on a wide array of smartphones, tablets and other devices. The company announced in November 2012 that it plans to reach 300 million people in the U.S. with its 4G LTE network by the end of 2014.
In conjunction with this transaction, AT&T will sell to Grain Management a single AWS license and will lease 700 MHz spectrum from Grain Management in three markets.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. AT&T anticipates closing the transaction in the second half of 2013.
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*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.