U.S. Cellular today announced that it will sell the majority of its Mississippi Valley 10MHz AWS spectrum license to T-Mobile USA for $308 million.
The high-frequency spectrum, which is best for high-density areas, covers 32 million people in 29 markets in the Mississppi Valley, including St. Louis, Nashville, Kansas City, Memphis, Lexington, Little Rock, Birmingham, New Orleans, and Louisville. The spectrum will be used in T-Mobile's LTE rollout.
John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, said that in this market, spectrum is gold.
"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," Legere said. "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."
"Following the Market Divestiture that closed in May, we have been seeking opportunities to monetize other non-strategic assets," said newly minted U.S. Cellular president and CEO Kenneth R. Meyers, in a statement. "Following the Market Divestiture that closed in May, we have been seeking opportunities to monetize other non-strategic assets."
The agreement is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice, and other customary closing conditions. Following regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of 2013. U.S. Cellular said it will partition and retain a portion of the license covering its markets in Knoxville and eastern Tennessee to meet future operating needs.