Days after paying $780 million in cash to buy Atlantic Tele-Network Inc's Alltel wireless business, U.S. carrier AT&T has acquired wireless airwaves from Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion in cash.
The spectrum being bought is part of Verizon's 700MHz B block, which it doesn't utilize. As part of the deal, AT&T will give up a batch of wireless licenses covering certain western markets. AT&T said the licenses it's buying from Verizon covers a population of 42 million within 18 U.S. states.
"While on the surface this appears to be a rich price, we would note that the B block licenses that AT&T is acquiring are concentrated in major metropolitan markets," said Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche.
During the August of 2012, AT&T, which is investing $14 billion to upgrade its wireless networks in order to expand 4G LTE coverage, purchased wireless company NextWave Wireless Inc for its spectrum holdings for $50 million and $550 million of debt.