AT&T, Inc. issued a statement that it will purchase the wireless airwave licenses held by Aloha Partners LP for about $2.5 billion.
The airwave licenses are in the 700MHz spectrum, which is an analog spectrum that will soon become available after television broadcasters abandon it for mandated digital spectrum broadcasting.
The licenses have coverage for potentially 196 million customers in 281 markets, including more than ¾ of the top 100 U.S. markets in the 700-megahertz frequency band, according to AT&T. Aloha Partners had been testing the spectrum for a mobile television service that could potentially compete with a similar offering from Qualcomm, Inc.’s business unit, MediaFlo USA. Aloha was also considering and had tested the spectrum for high-speed wireless data services in Phoenix, Arizona.
AT&T did not indicate whether the acquisition of the licenses from Aloha will affect AT&T’s decision to bid on the upcoming available 700MHz government spectrum auction. AT&T also did not indicate what types of services it would offer through the newly acquired spectrum licenses.
The transaction is expected to close within six to nine months.