T-Mobile US is looking to boost its portfolio of low-band airwaves, the New York Post reports, as a contingency plan in case its proposed merger with Sprint Corp is rejected. The cellco is reportedly keen to snap up 700MHz A-block licences covering major cities such as New York, and has already delivered proposals to a number of key spectrum holders. However, a source with knowledge of the matter told the Post: ‘Buying spectrum would add to the potential divestitures resulting from the [Sprint] combination.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, 700MHz A-block licences were distributed in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Auction 73, which was held in mid-January 2008. Verizon Wireless and US Cellular both acquired 25 licences apiece; Verizon targeted urban areas, whilst US Cellular bought licences primarily covering the north of the country. Meanwhile, Cavalier Telephone and CenturyTel secured 23 and 21 licences, respectively. Other concessions were acquired by the likes of Triad (36), Cox Wireless (22) and Continuum (ten licences), although many of these companies have already taken steps to dismantle their spectrum holdings in the intervening six years.