sprintSprint is adopting an “if you can’t build it, then buy it” approach. Sprint has just announced that it will be acquiring U.S. Cellular’s PCS spectrum and customers in the Midwest market, particularly in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio including the Chicago and St. Louis, for a whopping $480 million in cash. Sprint will also assume “certain liabilities” from the deal. The giant telecommunications company says that the additional spectrum will be used to supplement its coverage in these areas as it continues to deploy its Network Vision upgrade.

According to the terms of the contract, Sprint will buy 20 MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900 MHz band as well as a 10 MHz of PCS spectrum. It will also involve approximately 585,000 U.S. Cellular customers. For now, the deal remains a subject for approval by Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. It is expected to close next year.

“This transaction will enable us to strengthen our business and become a more robust competitor,” said Dan Hesse, the CEO of Sprint. “Acquiring this spectrum will significantly increase Sprint’s network capacity and improve the customer experience in several important Midwest markets including Chicago and St. Louis. We welcome the new customers in these markets and look forward to providing them with Sprint’s unique combination of unlimited plans, an iconic device portfolio and unmatched customer service.”

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