Verizon Wins Bidding War With AT&T For Coveted Straight Path 5G Wireless Spectrum

Verizon recently came out ahead in the battle for control over wireless spectrum for future 5G networks. The telecommunications corporation won a bidding war against AT&T for Straight Path Communications, Inc. Verizon has promised to pay roughly $3.1 billion for the corporation.

AT&T had originally reached a deal with Straight Path last month to purchase the company for $1.6 billion in stock, including liabilities. This quiet deal, however, soon erupted into a bidding war. Verizon eventually won and has agreed to not only pay $3.1 billion to Straight Path, but a $38 million termination fee to AT&T.

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Straight Path owns the licenses to a number of high-frequency radio waves that many believe could be used to create 5G networks. Straight Path purchased most of its wireless spectrum fifteen years ago, however, it was penalized last year for not building a network. As of March, Straight Path had nine employees and was worth $400 million.

Verizon’s latest acquisition may help them to implement mobile 5G across its nationwide wireless network. Verizon recently agreed to purchase fiber optic cabling from Corning for $1.05 billion. This cabling would allow the company to bring better 4G LTE coverage and speed up the deployment of 5G connectivity to homes and businesses. The issue with this plan, however, is that 5G would be restricted to a physical place. Verizon customers would be unable to get mobile 5G.

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Verizon may also be able to get an edge on other competitors like T-Mobile. T-Mobile plans to use part of the 600 MHz spectrum it just won for 5G, and it also has 200 MHz of spectrum in the 28/39 GHz bands. This spectrum covers roughly 100 million people in various metropolitan areas. T-Mobile plans to deploy 5G on the mid-band spectrum. According to T-Mobile, 5G can be deployed on any frequency and will provide faster speeds, lower latency, and increased battery life.