These days, it's a spectrum turf war for carriers. The more spectrum they have, the more power and coverage they have... so they'll do anything
to acquire it. It's a highly limited asset, and Sprint is a carrier that needs more spectrum in the worst way. So, they're acquiring
certain bits of U.S. Cellular spectrum to bolster their coverage. Additional spectrum will significantly increase Sprint's network capacity and further improve the customer experience in Chicago, St. Louis and other Midwest markets, which are some pretty monumental markets to be working in.
Specifically, Sprint will acquire 20MHz of PCS spectrum in various Midwest markets including Chicago, South Bend, Ind., and Champaign, Ill., and 10MHz of PCS spectrum in the St. Louis market. The additional spectrum will significantly increase Sprint's network capacity and further improve the customer experience in these markets. In addition, the transaction includes approximately 420,000 U.S. Cellular customers.
Sprint and U.S. Cellular have already notified affected customers and Sprint will send them additional information on the exact timing and details of the transition which will last several months. Sprint and its Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and payLo prepaid brands are providing special offers and incentives for affected customers that significantly reduce the cost of acquiring a new device to transition from the U.S. Cellular network. In many cases, affected customers can switch from their current device to a similar or better Sprint or prepaid device for little or no cost and with a wide variety of contract or non-contract plans.
Affected customers will not be charged an Early Termination Fee when switching their service. During the months-long transition period, U.S. Cellular's network will remain active and affected customers may continue to use U.S. Cellular for their wireless service while evaluating their options