AT&T To Buy Verizon Spectrum for Almost $2 Billion

AT&T has a deal in place to buy $1.9 billion worth of 700 MHz B-block spectrum from Verizon Wireless. The Dallas-based carrier will also transfer some AWS spectrum licenses in several markets to Verizon.

The B-block licenses cover 42 million people in 18 states, including California, Florida, New York, Ohio and Texas. The AWS spectrum licenses involve some of Americas largest markets, including Los Angeles, Phoenix and Portland, Ore.

AT&T says the acquisition will help it deploy more 4G LTE services around the country. The operators goal is to reach 300 million people with LTE by the end of next year.

VzW is in the process of auctioning two blocks of 700MHz licenses, some of which the carrier already has sold to smaller operators. The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based wireless giant last summer got approval to buy nearly $4 billion worth of AWS spectrum from cable operators.

The AT&T-Verizon deal is subject to regulatory approval, which the carriers expect will happen in the second half of 2013.

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