Rumors started circulating last year that Verizon Wireless was looking to offload its unused A-block spectrum, and T-Mobile U.S. was said to be interested. Big Red also said that it was open to spectrum swapping, which worked out in T-Mobile’s favor. It acquired the spectrum back in 2008 for $2.6 billion through a government auction. T-Mobile has officially announced today that it is purchasing 700MHz A-block spectrum from Verizon Wireless for $2.365 billion in cash and will be sweetening the deal with $950 million worth of AWS and PCS spectrum licenses.
When combined with T-Mobile’s existing A-block spectrum holdings in Boston, this deal gives the country’s fourth largest mobile carrier important low-band spectrum in 9 of the top 10 and 21 of the top 30 markets in the U.S. Both carriers expect to close the deal in mid-2014 after regulatory approval has been granted by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. The deal isn’t expected to hit any roadblocks when its being scrutinized by the regulators. Not only does Verizon get the cash, it will be able to use T-Mobile’s AWS airwaves to improve its service in various congested markets, such as New York. Seems like a win-win for both parties involved, which customers should experience improved service and coverage.