AT&T and Verizon this week announced that a $1.9 billion spectrum deal between the companies has been finalized. AT&T paid the billions to Verizon for 39 lower 700MHz B Block spectrum licenses. The deal between the largest mobile providers in the U.S. was announced back in January, and just this month was approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
According to AT&T, the sold spectrum covers 42 million Americans in 18 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming). AT&T intends to use the spectrum to expand its 4G LTE network throughout the territories the spectrum covers.
As part of the deal, AT&T also transferred several AWS-1 licenses to Verizon in key markets such as Los Angeles, California; Fresno, California; and Portland, Oregon. Verizon states that it will use its new AWS licenses to expand the capacity of its 4G LTE network in those markets
In addition to the large AT&T sale, Verizon has also sold several of its 700MHz spectrum licenses to six small regional mobile providers and one minority-owned firm. Verizon is selling off this spectrum as part of a deal with U.S. regulators that would allow the company to acquire spectrum from U.S. cable companies, including Time Warner and Comcast.