Dec 22nd, 2011

With AT&T’s proposed T-Mobile merger dead in the water, it seems the company is looking towards new, less FCC offensive ways to spend their money. Enter Qualcomm who has just sold off their 700MHz spectrum to AT&T for use in its budding 4G LTE network. The deal has actually been approved in a 3-1 vote by the FCC but it doesn’t come without some fine print. First, AT&T will have to make sure they meet current interference requirements and second, they will have to share some of this newly acquired spectrum with some of their competitors for data roaming.

The spectrum was originally used by Qualcomm for their Flo TV service but was short lived. No sense in letting all that good spectrum go to waste now, is there? The agreement should go into effect by the end of this year. AT&T’s full press release can be found below.

AT&T* announced today that it has received all required regulatory approvals for AT&T’s acquisition of spectrum from Qualcomm. AT&T is purchasing 700 MHz spectrum licenses covering more than 300 million people for approximately $1.9 billion.

“This spectrum will help AT&T continue to deliver a world-class mobile broadband experience to our customers,” said Bob Quinn, senior vice president-Federal Regulatory, AT&T. “We appreciate the FCC Chairman, the Commissioners and their staff for completing its review before the holidays.

“As spectrum is the lifeblood of the U.S. wireless industry, we are pleased that the FCC did not reduce the spectrum screen, however, we continue to believe any changes to the process by which it is allocated should be subject to open and transparent public discussion and clear to everyone with an interest in ensuring the health of our industry.”

The companies expect to close the transaction in the coming days.

[WSJ | Electronista]

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