AT&T has bolstered its wireless spectrum holding with the $1.9 billion purchase of 700 MHz B spectrum from Verizon Wireless. The purchase was revealed on Friday in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The wireless network says its new purchase will provide additional growth to 42 million people in 18 states. The new spectrum purchase will benefit residents in the following areas:
California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming
AT&T will also receive Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) in five of the markets served by the company’s new 700 MHz B spectrum.
The new 700 MHz B spectrum will be used to expand AT&T Wireless’ true 4G network. AT&T currently calls part of its HSPA+ offering a 4G network, although many experts argue that such technology is actually part of of the 3.5G system. 4G LTE offers a higher bandwidth ceiling, which is needed for expansion reasons.
Verizon sold off its extra spectrum with the understanding that it could purchase new spectrum from competitors in the future. The spectrum sale also allows Verizon to remove the 700 MHz B spectrum, which doesn’t necessarily fit well with the company’s current technology structure.
AT&T Wireless plans to cover 250 million people with LTE technology by the end of 2013 and 300 million customers by the end of 2014.
Regulators must still approve the wireless spectrum purchase before it can be finalized.