Feature Article

December 20, 2010

AT&T and Qualcomm Strike Billion Dollar Deal for Wireless Spectrum

Months ago, our staffers here at TMC reported that a spectrum purchasing deal was in the works between AT&T and Qualcomm. And now those reported efforts have come to fruition. The companies have reached an agreement to the tune of $1.925 billion.

AT&T will be purchasing spectrum licenses in the lower 700 MHz frequency band from Qualcomm. The maneuver is being perceived as a strategy aimed at bolstering AT&Ts 4G offerings.

Qualcomm, a leader in next generation mobile technologies, has won several prestigious awards in the past several years, including several Andrew Seybold Choice Awards, a CES Innovation Design and engineering Award, an EDN Innovation Award, Frost & Sullivan’s North American Fleet Manager’s Choice Award, a 2008 PC Magazine Technology Excellence Award and a 2009 Wall Street Journal Innovation Award.

Qualcomm is also a driver of wireless technologies. According to its company officials, it had previously used the bandwidth to support its wholly owned subsidiary, FLO TV Incorporated. This sale comes on the heels of Qualcomm’s reevaluation of said subsidiary – it expects that its FLO TV business and networks will be shut down by March of 2011.

So how will this spectrum help AT&T? Our society is headed towards 4G capabilities and AT&T plans on being on board. The company will likely deploy the spectrum as a supplemental downlink, powered by carrier aggregation technology, to ensure its place in the 4G races.

The spectrum will be deployed once the necessary infrastructure and handsets have been developed.

More detailed news has been developing slowly but more information is sure to be forthcoming.

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