AT&T scoops Texan 700MHz licences from Peoples Wireless

19 Jan 2016

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved AT&T Mobility’s purchase of two 700MHz Lower C-block licences from Peoples Wireless in Texas. The spectrum attached to the concessions covers 17 counties across two Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), and post-transaction, AT&T will increase its below-1GHz spectrum holdings from 30MHz to 55MHz (varying by county). In its review of the deal, the FCC observed: ‘We also note that the three other nationwide service providers each have significant 3G and LTE population and land area coverage in both markets. Moreover, other entities were actively solicited with respect to this business opportunity, so they had the opportunity to acquire this low-band spectrum on the secondary market’. AT&T has been an active participant in the so-called ‘secondary spectrum market’ in recent years, plugging holes in its network with a series of small-scale transactions. The value of the Peoples Wireless deal, which was agreed in October 2015, has not been disclosed.