AT&T Inc has closed its acquisition of FiberTower Corporation, giving it millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum that can be utilised when the operator commences the rollout of mobile 5G services later this year. AT&T notes that it paid USD207 million to acquire FiberTower and will receive a significant footprint in the 39GHz band, with average spectrum holdings of more than 375MHz in the top 100 US markets.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in January 2017 AT&T entered into an agreement to acquire San Francisco-based FiberTower, and its mmWave spectrum rights. The company was founded in March 2014 and currently offers spectrum leases and backhaul services to wireless carriers.
However, in January 2018 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forced FiberTower to relinquish all of its 24GHz concessions (around 121 in total) and roughly the same number of 39GHz permits, as part of a settlement dating back to July 2012. The settlement means that AT&T has only recieved around 479 of FiberTower’s 39GHz licences and none of its 24GHz licences, putting a significant dent in its 5G plans.