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AT&T to splash $1.9bn for spectrum space

26 Jan 2013

AT&T has become the latest major telecoms firm to announce a multi-billion dollar purchase of wireless spectrum space.

The company revealed that it would be shelling out some $1.9bn worth of spectrum licences from rival carrier Verizon. The 700mhz B band licences are said to cover areas which include some 42 million Americans.

Among the 18 states covered in the deal are major population centres including California, New York, Texas and Florida. Additionally, the carrier said that it would be purchasing local spectrum licences which cover parts of Los Angeles, Phoenix and Portland. AT&T hopes to extend its coverage to 300 million people by 2014.

As part of the deal, AT&T said that it will be leasing out three of its own licences to a third party, Grain Management. The company said that it expects the deal to be finalised in the second half of the year.

The high prices being paid out in the US come as the UK government launches its auction of spectrum in which two new bands will be offered for use as 4G wireless frequencies.

Verizon recently made headlines when it paid out a staggering $3.6bn for a swath of spectrum space controlled by holding firm SpectrumCo.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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