AT&T, the largest US cellco by subscribers, has paid USD2.5 billion to acquire rights to 12MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz band. The wireless frequencies, which were bought from Aloha Partners, cover an area which is home to around 196 million people in 281 markets, including 72 of the 100 biggest US cities. Aloha acquired the spectrum in auctions between 2001 and 2003 but has failed to use it. The 700MHz band is ideally suited for fixed and mobile wireless broadband services. The Federal Communications Commission is set to auction off more 700MHz frequencies in January. ‘Customer demand for mobile services, including voice, data and video, is continually increasing,’ says Forrest Miller, AT&T’s group president of corporate strategy and development. ‘Aloha’s spectrum will enable AT&T to efficiently meet this growing demand and help our customers stay connected to their worlds.’ The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.