AT&T snatches up high-speed wireless frequency spectrum for $2.5 billion

AT&T buys 12Mhz slice of 700Mhz spectrum for $2.5 billionForget waiting on the January FCC auction of the 700Mhz frequency spectrum. AT&T has jumped the gun on competitors and bought itself a 12Mhz slice of the 700Mhz frequency band from Aloha Partners LP. The $2.5 billion deal will net AT&T additional 700Mhz licenses in 281 US markets – including 72 of the top 100 markets and all 10 of the top 10 US markets.

AT&T is moving to expand their network to meet “Customer demand for mobile services, including voice, data and video, is continually increasing. Aloha’s spectrum will enable AT&T to efficiently meet this growing demand and help our customers stay connected to their worlds.” We’re looking for governmental approval of the deal in 6 to 9 months.

Considering that the 22Mhz open-access block (Block C) of the 700Mhz spectrum will command a $4.6 billion reserve price, AT&T got a bargain of a deal on this 12Mhz slice – and AT&T won’t have to worry about open-access rules. That means more bandwidth/spectrum in addition to the planned HSUPA rollout! And we though AT&T didn’t care about its domestic market anymore.

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