Today, mobile phone carrier AT&T announced officially that it has signed an agreement with Qualcomm Incorporated for the purchase of spectrum licenses in the Lower 700 MHz frequency band from Qualcomm for $1.925 billion.
According to the wireless carrier, the deal should offer it the possibility to deliver advanced 4G mobile broadband services
for its users.
The licenses are being used at the moment for supporting the service business of FLO TV Incorporated. According to Qualcomm, the FLO TV business and network are set to be closed in March 2011.
A number of more than 300 million people around the United States can benefit from coverage from this spectrum
, the duo announced.
Qualcomm details the coverage as follows:- 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D and E block spectrum covers more than 70 million people in five of the top 15 U.S. metropolitan areas - New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco;
- 6 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D block spectrum covers more than 230 million people across the rest of the U.S.
Basically, the aforementioned deal would result in the spectrum
that was previously dedicated to FLO TV to being transferred into AT&T's ownership for $1.925 billion.
As for AT&T's plans with this spectrum the wireless carrier says that it aims at the roll-out of this spectrum as supplemental downlink, through the use of carrier aggregation technology.
The mobile phone carrier notes that this technology was designed to offer great capacity gains and that it should be “enabled with the completion of 3GPP Release 10.”
AT&T is set to start the roll-out of the newly acquired spectrum as soon as compatible equipment is developed, along with the necessary mobile phones
. No specific time frame for when the move would be made was unveiled.
AT&T should also deploy carrier aggregation technology, which would enable a better mobile broadband experience as well. According to Qualcomm, it would plan on integrating the technology into its chipsets, so as to offer support for rich multimedia content.
“The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and AT&T and Qualcomm anticipate closing the sale during the second half of calendar year 2011,” the two companies announced.