AT&T Purchases 700 MHz Spectrum – Faster, Better LTE Coming?


With Verizon’s purchase of $3.6 billion of AWS spectrum, AT&T’s looking to lick their wounds and recover from the tough blow suffered earlier this month. The FCC just announced their approval of a 700 MHz spectrum transfer to AT&T that will allow the carrier to expand downlink speeds on their young 4G LTE network. Members of the FCC board approved the deal by a vote of three to one after a vote was suspended for months following the initiation of the failed T-Mobile buyout.

The deal includes 6 MHz of spectrum in the 700 range for nationwide LTE expansion as well as 6 additional MHz for major cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco. In total, these areas include well over fifty million subscribers and potential LTE clients. So, this move could mean a quelling of the Verizon 4G onslaught.

Qualcomm originally bought the spectrum for use in its FLO TV service, but quickly shut down the service after its introduction, offering to sell the spectrum to the highest bidder. AT&T will undoubtedly use this deal to leverage faster and more consistent 4G LTE connection speeds, especially in the metropolitan areas listed above.

For AT&T users, this spectrum purchase means a sigh of relief after the T-Mobile deal cost AT&T billions of dollars in settlement cash. In a time where 4G expansion is crucial, AT&T’s not willing to roll over and let Verizon take the win.

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