I suppose that this is going to rock some people off their chairs as they read about it this morning – that AT&T will be purchasing the 700MHz spectrum from Verizon Wireless, as announced in an 8-K filing earlier this morning. The asking price? Verizon Wireless will walk away with $1.9 billion in cash, handing over Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in several markets, such as Phoenix, Ariz., Los Angeles and Fresno, Calif. and Portland, Ore. to AT&T.
In fact, the 700 MHz licenses that AT&T will pick up will cover the area of 18 states, with 42 million people thereabouts in total, and they are California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. Needless to say, this transaction will remain subject to regulatory approval, and AT&T hopes that the entire transaction will be able to close sometime before the year is over. [Press Release]