T-Mobile on Friday announced they have agreed to purchase 10MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from U.S. Cellular for $308 million in cash. The deal will allow for an incremental roll-out of T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network to new markets and expand existing bandwidth, the company said in a press release on the matter.
The spectrum in question covers roughly 32 million people in 29 different markets, primarily in Mississippi Valley regions like St. Louis; Nashville; Kansas City; Memphis; Lexington; Little Rock-North Little Rock; Birmingham; New Orleans; and Louisville.
John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile said spectrum is like gold in today’s marketplace. He described the deal as a rare opportunity to secure AWS spectrum in key markets that will immediately be put to use by T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers.
True enough, 4G LTE is where it’s at these days in the wireless provider race and T-Mobile has a lot of ground to make up. The company only recently started their 4G LTE rollout while competitors AT&T and Verizon Wireless are already in more than 290 markets and 500 markets, respectively. T-Mobile was poised for a takeover from AT&T back in 2011 but that deal was ultimately shot down by the Federal Communications Commission as it would have reduced competition and eliminated jobs.
As you might imagine, the deal is subject to approval by the FCC and the Department of Justice in addition to other customary closing conditions. Pending approval, the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier expects the transaction to be completed during the fourth quarter of this year.