AT&T just purchased $1.9 billion worth of spectrum from Verizon

By on September 12, 2013, 3:45 PM

AT&T has been struggling to expand its 4G LTE network, and today reports say the company is dropping $1.9 billion in order to do so. The chunk of cash will buy unused spectrum from its biggest competitor, Verizon.

The deal between the two companies will see upgraded service for 42 million users across 18 States. The unused spectrum consists of 39, 700MHz B block wireless licenses and will further support AT&T's plan to offer 4G LTE to as much as 270 million users by the year's end. It took around 8 months for the two carriers to reach an agreement.

In return, Verizon has some benefits coming its way as well. AT&T will hand over advanced wireless spectrum licenses to Verizon in five different markets including Phoenix, Los Angeles, Fresno, Albuquerque and Portland. Verizon expects the licenses to be worth as much as $225 million.

Not only does this deal make sense for both Verizon and AT&T, but according to the FCC, this is a good deal for everyone. Mignon Clyburn, the acting FCC chairwoman said, "This is a big win for consumers, especially in rural areas, who will see more competition and more choices. Also, by making it easier for small wireless carriers to compete, today's interoperability solution will spur private investment, job creation, and the development of innovative new services and devices."

AT&T says it will substantially complete is 4G LTE network by this time next year. The new licenses will affect consumers in California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Virginia and Washington to name a few.

(Image via Mosaik)




User Comments: 6

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soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Love my 36 mbs down 17 up speed on AT&T 4G LTE here in the south.

psycros psycros said:

I'd love to know how this is going to help rural customers. Like AT&T, Verizon has been hoarding spectrum for years in order to keep wireless data artificially constrained and prices high..why would they change now?? Even when LTE becomes ubiquitous nationwide I wouldn't expect carriers to do the right thing and make unlimited, unthrottled 3G data available to consumers. They'll reconfigure their networks to route as much LTE data as possible over the 3G spectrum - you wait and see.

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Who cares about phone download speeds? Here Where I live we have computers and tablets and TV's connected to something called the internet and we download and watch movies on them not a 4" phone screen.

howzz1854 said:

Damn AT&T, lazy fat cat!!

Swiss422 Swiss422 said:

Anyone know how much Verizon paid for that spectrum in the first place? Technically spectrum is an asset of the USA and its citizens, and it was provided to Verizon to build out its network as a service to the country. Seems they used it to make a huge profit instead...a profit that by rights ought to belong to the American people.

aspleme said:

They are not going to route LTE data over 3G if they can avoid it... LTE is cheaper for the carrier than 3G. They aren't improving LTE tech so you can have faster speeds, they are improving it so they can transfer more data in less time.

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