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January 08, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: AWS Spectrum will be Acquired by AT&T from Aloha Partners II, L.P.

One day after T-Mobile announced that it will acquire 700MHz A-Block from Verizon Wireless, AT&T made a similar announcement. AT&T is committed to acquiring 49 Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) spectrum licenses from Aloha Partners II, L.P.

AWS is a wireless telecommunications spectrum band used for mobile voice and data services, video, and messaging. AWS-1 is used in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile, and it replaces some of the spectrum formerly allocated to Multipoint Multichannel Distribution Service (MMDS), sometimes referred to as Wireless Cable. It existed from 2150 to 2162 MHz.

The licenses that AT&T intends to acquire will cover close to 50 million people in 14 states. These states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

As is the case with all transactions of this type, it is subject to regulatory approval. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), usually in conjunction with the Department of Justice, will have to formally approve this transaction.

If all goes as AT&T plans, it will be able to close the transaction sometime in the second half of 2014. This acquisition would complement AT&T’s existing AWS holdings. The reason that AT&T is adding spectrum in the AWS, as well as other bands, is that it is an attempt to stay ahead of soaring demand for mobile Internet services.

AT&T hopes that the addition of this AWS spectrum will help it to continue providing a great mobile Internet experience for its customers. As of today, AT&T has the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network. It covers more than 270 million people in more than 500 markets.  

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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