Sprint has agreed to purchase spectrum and more than half a million customer accounts from US Cellular as part of a $480 million cash deal. Select customers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio are included in the transfer according to a press release from Sprint.
The company will acquire 20MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900MHz band that covers customers in areas of the Midwest like Chicago, South Bend, Indiana and Champaign, Illinois. Sprint will also take ownership of 10MHz of PCS spectrum located in the St. Louis market.
The wireless carrier plans to use the newfound spectrum to supplement coverage in some areas as part of their continued rollout of Network Vision and 4G LTE nationwide.
In total, 585,000 US Cellular customers will end up as Sprint customers, or roughly 10 percent of their total customer base. The release notes that US Cellular customers outside of these markets will see business continue as usual.
Sprint has been extremely active in the past month or so. The wireless carrier made headlines in mid October when Japanese provider SoftBank acquired a 70 percent stake in the company for a cool $20.1 billion. That deal is expected to be finalized by mid-2013.
Fast-forward just a few days later and Sprint announced they were buying a controlling stake in Clearwire in a deal valued at $100 million. Most seem to think that SoftBank coaxed Sprint to gain control of Clearwire instead of them having to do it on their own.