Late last week, T-Mobile CEO John Legere criticized AT&T’s announcement that it would pay up to $450 to T-Mobile subscribers who switch to AT&T. Calling the move “desperate,” Legere said the move was a clear sign that T-Mobile had made AT&T “uncomfortable.” He then teased that T-Mobile would have more industry-changing news coming out of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
T-Mobile today did release an announcement, though it’s not some new exciting service or pricing initiative. The company will be paying a little over $2.36 billion for 700MHz A-Block spectrum from Verizon. In addition to the cash, T-Mobile will hand over nearly $1 billion worth of its AWS and PCS spectrum to Verizon.
According to T-Mobile, the deal will give the company a stake in low-band spectrum in nine of the top ten U.S. cellular markets. Around 150 million people are covered by the spectrum purchased from Verizon.
“This is a great opportunity to secure low-band spectrum in many of the top markets in America,” said Legere. “These transactions represent our biggest move yet in a series of initiatives that are rapidly expanding our already lightning-fast network and improving its performance across the country. We will continue to find ways to advance our customers’ network experience just as our bold ‘Un-carrier’ moves have shaken up the wireless industry to benefit consumers.”
Verizon closed a similar spectrum deal with AT&T back in September. Under the terms of that deal, AT&T paid $1.9 billion for 39 700MHz B-Block spectrum lecences covering 42 million Americans in 18 states.