US Cellular announced today that it will sell spectrum and 10 percent of its customer base to Sprint in a deal worth $480 million in cash. Sprint will acquire 20 MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900 MHz band in Chicago, South Bend, Ind. and Champaign, Ill. It will also acquire 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in the St. Louis market. Sprint will assume approximately 585,000 U.S. Cellular customers in those regions noted above.
U.S Cellular will cease operations in these Midwest areas but it will continue its operations in the other areas that it provides service. The transaction, expected to close in mid-2013 pending regulatory approval, will boost Sprint’s position in the Midwest region and will give US Cellular an inlfux of cash that it can use to improve service in its other markets.