T-Mobile has agreed to pay $309 million to US Cellular in exchange for an extra 10MHz of Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS).
The acquisition of the new spectrum will allow T-Mobile USA to continue with its plans to expand its 4G LTE coverage in the Mississippi Valley region. The expansion will cover 32 million people across 29 markets in the area.
Before the purchase can move forward, the deal must be approved by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. The company could run into problems because, alongside its MetroPCS acquisition, the mobile carrier would end up owning a majority of AWS spectrum allocations in the area. The company’s stronghold on AWS spectrum in the area will likely draw attention from the FCC and other wireless carriers.
Once approved, the spectrum will cover the following areas: St. Louis, Nashville, Kansas City, Memphis, Lexington, Little Rock and Little Rock-North; Birmingham, New Orleans, and Louisville.
The upgrade would also improve the bandwidth capabilities of networks that are already available for the T-Mobile 4G LTE network in the Mississippi Valley Region.
You may recall that last year T-Mobile protested when Verizon Wireless announced plans to buy extra AWS spectrum from cable companies. T-Mobile USA claimed that too much control in one area would be anti-competitive. T-Mobile could find itself fighting back against its own words. On the other hand, the FCC did eventually approve the Verizon Wireless spectrum purchase.
T-Mobile USA is hoping to complete the $308 million purchase before the end of the fourth quarter.
Do you think T-Mobile should be allowed to purchase the extra 10Mhz of AWS?