Now that its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion has been put to bed by strong opposition, AT&T has to look elsewhere in an effort to find spectrum that will accommodate the carrier’s ever-growing subscriber base while it transitions to LTE. The carrier is clearly facing an uphill battle but it took a sizable step forward on Thursday evening when the Federal Communications Commission granted approval to AT&T’s proposed acquisition of 700MHz spectrum licenses from Qualcomm. “This spectrum will help AT&T continue to deliver a world-class mobile broadband experience to our customers,” said AT&T SVP-Federal Regulatory Bob Quinn. AT&T will pay Qualcomm approximately $1.9 billion when the deal closes in the next few days, and the licenses AT&T gains cover more than 300 million people in the United States. AT&T’s press release follows below.
AT&T Receives Regulatory Approval for Purchase of Wireless Spectrum from Qualcomm
Dallas, Texas, December 22, 2011
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.