AT&T Still Chasing Verizon in the 4G LTE Race but Gains a Step with NextWave Acquisition

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News Posted: Thu, Aug 2 2012 11:53 AM
It’s no secret that Verizon is kicking AT&T’s tail on the 4G LTE front. Big Red has been rolling out 4G service at a comparatively breakneck pace, and AT&T is struggling to catch up. Today, the latter announced an acquisition that should help it gain a bit of ground on the former.

AT&T has agreed to purchase NextWave Wireless, which holds Wireless Communication Services (WCS) and Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) bandwidth licenses. AT&T (and Sirius XM) petitioned the FCC for changes to the WCS spectrum to allow it to be used for mobile devices, which would potentially help the company with its mobile bandwidth capacity problems. An approval on that front would make the NextWave buy a lucrative one, as AT&T would be able to follow through with its plan to boost its 4G capacity with WCS starting in a few years.

AT&T building

NextWave’s shareholders have approved the deal, the terms of which include a price tag of $25 million for NexWave and its equity, a contingent payment of up to $25 million, and the elimination by NextWave or assumption by AT&T of $600 million in debt.
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If you couple this post with 2 of HotHardwares earlier posts on At&t you will notice that things haven't been going to well for them, first the deal to buy T-mobile fell through and now this. The general strategy of AT&T has been different from verizon. Where Verizon focuses on break neck paced infrastructure expansion through new towers and stations, AT&T has attempted to buy its way ahead it seems, attempting (and usually completing) acquisition after acquisition, but can buying a company to increase coverage really compete with Verizon?

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