AT&T is back at it, again. The second largest wireless provider in the United States is taking every advantage possible to improve its network, by grabbing as much spectrum as it can. Today the giant telco company announced its acquisition of NextWave Wireless, a tech company that has its hands in mobile multimedia solutions and the wireless spectrum market. The Death Star swallowed the company for $25 million.
By purchasing this company, AT&T gets all of NextWave’s WCS (Wireless Communication Service) and AWS spectrum licenses; all of which are important for AT&T to expand its network capacity. The AWS spectrum will more than likely be used to improve LTE coverage. The only snag in this thing being approved is the heavy hand of the FCC. The feds have to not only sign off on this deal, but it also has to approve another joint proposal between AT&T and Sirius XM that would let AT&T use a second block of WCS (2.3Ghz) for mobile data transmission. This spectrum is normally reserved for satellite radio.
We really don’t know how the FCC will play this, because it’s usually overly protective of things like broadcast radio spectrum and GPS (remember the failed LightSquared Sprint deal?). Regardless, getting both deals to go through smoothly would be a big win for AT&T, especially after failing so miserably to close the T-Mobile merger.