AT&T’s Consolation Prize: Qualcomm’s Spectrum

Well, you win some, you lose some. Nobody is more painfully aware of that this week than AT&T, whose failed merger with T-Mobile cost the company billions in break-up fees. However, AT&T also just received word that the FCC approved its purchase of wireless spectrum from Qualcomm, with the deal to be finalized within days.

With a price tag of $1.9 billion, AT&T is grabbing 700MHz spectrum licenses that cover over 300 million people. Considering the amount of money the company just flushed down the toilet, $1.9 billion is a steal. Plus, spectrum in the wireless industry is as good as gold, and AT&T will need every break it can get to keep pace with competitors like Verizon.

AT&T Receives Regulatory Approval for Purchase of Wireless Spectrum from Qualcomm

Dallas, Texas, December 22, 2011

AT&T* announced today that it has received all required regulatory approvals for AT&T’s acquisition of spectrum from Qualcomm. AT&T is purchasing 700 MHz spectrum licenses covering more than 300 million people for approximately $1.9 billion.

"This spectrum will help AT&T continue to deliver a world-class mobile broadband experience to our customers," said Bob Quinn, senior vice president-Federal Regulatory, AT&T. "We appreciate the FCC Chairman, the Commissioners and their staff for completing its review before the holidays.

"As spectrum is the lifeblood of the U.S. wireless industry, we are pleased that the FCC did not reduce the spectrum screen, however, we continue to believe any changes to the process by which it is allocated should be subject to open and transparent public discussion and clear to everyone with an interest in ensuring the health of our industry."
The companies expect to close the transaction in the coming days.