T-Mobile Buys Spectrum From US Cellular
June 28, 2013

T-Mobile Buys Up $308 Million Of Spectrum From US Cellular

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

T-Mobile announced today that it has signed an deal to purchase spectrum from US Cellular for $308 million in cash. The company said that it would be buying 10 MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum to cover a total of 32 million people in 29 markets, including St. Louis, Nashville, Kansas City, Memphis, Lexington, Little Rock, Birmingham, New Orleans, and Louisville.

"In today's marketplace, spectrum is gold," said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. "This is a rare opportunity to secure precious AWS spectrum in key markets that will immediately be put to use by both T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers. This deal expands our network and capacity, allowing for a broader roll-out of 4G LTE and an even faster and more reliable 4G experience for our customers - in addition to spurring competition in the wireless marketplace."

US Cellular will be partitioning and retaining a portion of the licenses covering markets such as Knoxville and eastern Tennessee so that it will be able to meet future operating needs. The company said that it has been looking for opportunities to sell other non-strategic assets ever since it sold another chunk of spectrum to Sprint back in May.

"We're pleased to have achieved significant value for this spectrum license, as we continue to evaluate opportunities to create additional value for our shareholders," said US Cellular CEO Kenneth Meyers.

Wireless spectrum has become a hot commodity in the wake of the smartphone and tablet revolution. However, researchers reported in May that there is a method companies could be using in order to make it more efficient. MIT researchers said they developed a new method for manufacturing filters that could improve wireless device performance, helping to free up 14 times as much bandwidth on a single chip.

"The radio can now afford to have 14 times as many filters attached to the antenna, so we can span more frequencies," said researcher Dana Weinstein in a statement.

Thomas Kazior, a principal engineering fellow at Raytheon, said the researcher's method could help with commercial adoption of cognitive radio.

"We're talking about making filters that are directly integrated onto, say, a receiver chip, because the little resonator devices are literally the size of a transistor. These are all on a tiny scale," he said. "Building them is part of the semiconductor fabrication process, using pretty much the existing fabrication steps that you're using to build the transistor and the rest of the circuits. You just may need to add one, or two at the most, additional steps - out of 100 or more steps."