**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q4 2013.**
T-Mobile is buying spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless in a move that America's fourth-largest wireless company says will improve the network experience for its customers and hopefully attract new ones.
Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile is buying 700MHz A-block spectrum licenses from VzW for nearly $2.4 billion in cash and the transfer or certain AWS and PCS licenses, which are valued at about $950 million. The deal, combined with T-Mo's existing A-block holdings in Boston, means the company will have important low-band spectrum in nine of the top 10 and 21 of the top 30 U.S. markets.
“This is a great opportunity to secure low-band spectrum in many of the top markets in America," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “These transactions represent our biggest move yet in a series of initiatives that are rapidly expanding our already lightning fast network and improving its performance across the country. We will continue to find ways to advance our customers’ network experience just as our bold un-carrier moves have shaken up the wireless industry to benefit consumers."
T-Mobile last spring did away with two-year contracts for new customers as well as subsidies for phone purchases, allowing customers to pay off the higher cost in monthly installments. The company is widely expected to announce this week an offer to pay the early-termination fees other contract carriers charge for switching if a customer will jump ship to the Magenta Network.
The newly announced spectrum deal is subject to approval from the FCC and the Department of Justice. Look for it to close sometime mid-year.
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