updated 11:53 am EST, Wed November 7, 2012
Deal still waiting for FCC, Department of Justice approval
Sprint has announced plans to pay $480 million for customers and PCS spectrum from regional carrier US Cellular. Should the deal be approved by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, by sometime in 2013, Sprint will take over customers and spectrum in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio, including the major markets of Chicago and St. Louis. The carrier should add about 585,000 more subscribers.
Sprint is the US' third largest national carrier, and is working to catch up with AT&T and Verizon. A number of its subscribers were bleeding away until late last year, when it finally secured rights to the iPhone in a deal estimated to be worth billions of dollars over the course of several years. The US Cellular deal should help cement Sprint's coverage and marketshare.