Feeds

AT&T spaffs $1.9bn on secondhand cell-phone spectrum

One previous owner, hardly used, to cover 39 more US areas

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

AT&T wants to give Verizon $1.9bn, and some lumps of regional radio spectrum, in exchange for a decent chunk of 700MHz to add to its growing portfolio of low-frequency cell-phone network goodness.

Assuming the deal gets FCC approval, by the middle of 2013 AT&T will be able to cover another 39 regions with 700MHz LTE for high-speed mobile broadband.

As part of the agreement, Verizon will get AT&T spectrum covering five US regions and $1.9bn in cash. There's also some complexity involving investment biz Grain Management, which will buy a handful of radio licences from AT&T and then lease them to Verizon, as US operators seek to expand national coverage.

This follows last week's deal in which AT&T spent $780m on spectrum owned by Alltel, along with half a million subscribers, as it continues to unify its 700MHz holdings so customers can travel around the US without having to roam between networks or change handsets.

The majority of countries sell spectrum licences nationally, so network operators buy a lump of radio frequencies to be used anywhere within that specific nation. But the United States is a very big country so it divides up its spectrum licences by region making the whole business a good deal more complicated.

The idea is also to allow smaller networks to compete, although in fact many of them have sold out or are considering their options as the economies of scale become all too evident in the mobile business.

This latest sale was promised by Verizon when it won approval to buy $3.6bn in spectrum from various cable TV companies that had earlier snapped up the airwaves at auction from the FCC. When the ink is dried on this new agreement, Verizon will occupy the top part of 700MHz while AT&T lurks around the bottom. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.