T-Mobile US has spent more than USD1 billion purchasing 700MHz A block spectrum licences, Fierce Wireless reports, citing a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing reads: ‘In January 2016, T-Mobile acquired spectrum licences covering nearly 20 million people in seven major metropolitan markets for approximately USD600 million in cash. Additionally, in January and February 2016, T-Mobile entered into agreements with multiple third parties for the exchange of certain spectrum licences and the acquisition of 700MHz A block spectrum licences covering approximately 48 million people, for approximately USD700 million in cash’. While the precise details remain unclear, Fierce claims that the concessions cover major areas of Utah, New Mexico and parts of the Southeast. As part of the process, T-Mobile US will relinquish concessions worth around USD200 million. All transactions are expected to close in mid-2016, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
T-Mobile currently offers 700MHz ‘Extended Range LTE’ services in around in 170 major metropolitan areas. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the cellco bulked up its sub-1GHz spectrum holdings in January 2014, when it bought a substantial package of 700MHz A block spectrum from Verizon Wireless for USD2.37 billion.