updated 04:06 pm EDT, Fri June 28, 2013
Extra 10MHz of spectrum to help coverage in Mississippi Valley region
T-Mobile has signed an agreement to secure an extra 10MHz of Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) from U.S. Cellular for $308 million. The deal for extra spectrum, which still requires approval from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission before being finalized, will help improve 4G LTE coverage in the Mississippi Valley region, which covers 32 million people in 29 markets.
According to The Next Web, the spectrum covers St. Louis, Nashville, Kansas City, Memphis, Lexington, Little Rock and Little Rock-North; Birmingham, New Orleans, and Louisville. Aside from increasing the area that T-Mobile's network will reach, it will also increase the amount of available bandwidth in the region in the existing LTE network.
Once completed, this would mean that T-Mobile, and the acquired MetroPCS, would own the majority of AWS spectrum allocations, and could face increased regulatory scrutiny from the FCC, as well as possible complaints from other carriers. Last year, T-Mobile protested Verizon's plans to acquire AWS spectrum from cable companies, as it would provide Verizon an unfair advantage and anti-competitive. The FCC later approved the purchase.
T-Mobile expects the acquisition of the AWS spectrum to be closed by the fourth quarter.