T-Mobile is currently in the process of acquiring 10MHz of AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum from US Cellular. This is said to be a cash deal for $308 million and it will help T-Mobile further expand the reach of their 4G LTE network. This acquisition is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2013 and the spectrum covers some of the Mississippi Valley Region.
Specifically, the spectrum includes coverage for 32 million people across 29 markets. These markets include parts of St. Louis, Nashville, Kansas City, Memphis, Lexington, Little Rock-North Little Rock, Birmingham, New Orleans and Louisville. It was said this will allow for an "incremental" rollout of additional 4G LTE coverage.
Looking back to the bit about this acquisition expecting to close during Q4 2013, that of course is based on approval from several organizations including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice. While this purchase may look like a small piece of spectrum, it seems to be all about getting any bit of additional spectrum possible.
John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile spoke briefly on this topic noting that “in today’s marketplace, spectrum is gold.” Legere also went on to talk about how "this is a rare opportunity to secure precious AWS spectrum in key markets that will immediately be put to use by both T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers."
Otherwise, while this expansion was discussed as being incremental, Legere also touched on that by saying how this acquisition will do a few things. According to Legere, this acquisition will allow for a "broader" 4G LTE rollout that will being an "even faster and more reliable 4G experience for our customers" Not to mention, it is also expected to further spur the competition in the wireless marketplace.