AT&T Completes Acquisition of Qualcomm Spectrum

AT&T paid Qualcomm $1.9 billion for the spectrum licenses, which it will use to support its LTE network. The additional spectrum will cover around 300 million Americans, AT&T said in a statement. Qualcomm had used the spectrum for its FLO TV project, which broadcast TV shows to cellular handsets. The program never gained popularity and was dropped.

This is the latest in a series of recent deals being brokered by wireless carriers looking to get their hands on unused spectrum to meet the growing demand for wireless data. Earlier in December Verizon paid Cox Communications $315 million for 20 MHz of AWS spectrum. Verizon also struck a $3.6 billion spectrum deal with Comcast, Time Warner, and Bright House.

AT&T’s plan to buy the swath of spectrum from Qualcomm had been pending for a year before the FCC gave its blessing for the deal to go forward last Thursday. The approval came just days after AT&T withdrew its bid to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. The FCC said it opposed the T-Mobile takeover because it would reduce competition in the mobile marketplace.

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