It's taken almost eight months, but AT&T has at last finalized its deal to purchase $1.9 billion worth of spectrum from Verizon. The agreement, first announced back in January, allows Verizon to unload a good chunk of its 700MHz spectrum, which AT&T will in turn use to improve its LTE service for 42 million customers across 18 different states. And that's all she wrote, folks. If you're curious to see whether your state is covered, all 18 of them are listed in the press release below. Be warned, though: you'll also need to watch AT&T do a victory lap over how fast its network is.

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AT&T Completes Acquisition of 700 MHz Spectrum from Verizon Wireless to Support 4G LTE
September 10, 2013 04:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AT&T* announced today that it completed its acquisition of wireless spectrum in the lower 700 MHz band B block from Verizon Wireless. The acquired licenses 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.

"AT&T clocks best overall speeds with 3G/4G combo"

The spectrum will support AT&T's deployment of 4G LTE to meet surging demand for mobile Internet services. AT&T has the nation's fastest and now most reliable 4G LTE network, according to independent third-party data.1 AT&T's 4G LTE network currently covers more than 225 million people, with plans to reach nearly 270 million people by the end of 2013, and to substantially complete the build by summer 2014. AT&T's plans to deploy 4G LTE include the areas covered by this spectrum.

The performance of AT&T's 4G LTE network continues to be validated by independent third-party testing:

Our 4G LTE service was recognized as having faster average download and upload speeds than any of our competitors in PCWorld/TechHive's most recent 20-market speed tests - the second consecutive year that AT&T has ranked first overall. PCWorld/TechHive also ranked AT&T's network as the fastest combination of 3G and 4G services in the 20 cities it tested.2
AT&T was named America's fastest 4G LTE network in PC Magazine's 2013 Fastest Mobile Networks 30-market study - and also swept the top rankings in all six U.S. regions from coast to coast: Northeast, Southeast, North-Central, South-Central, Northwest and Southwest.3
In exchange for the 700 MHz spectrum, AT&T paid $1.9 billion in cash and transferred Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in Phoenix, Ariz.; Los Angeles and Fresno, Calif.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Portland, Ore.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

1Speed claim based on comparison of U.S. national carriers' avg 4G LTE download speeds. Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE not available everywhere. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.
2PCWorld/TechHive, May 23, 2013, "AT&T clocks best overall speeds with 3G/4G combo"
3PC Magazine, June 17, 2013; http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2420333,00.asp

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AT&T finalizes $1.9 billion spectrum purchase from Verizon, deal will improve LTE service in 18 states