• AT&T Buys FLO TV Spectrum to Help Push 4G Network Along

    In early 2010, reports first surfaced that AT&T was interested in acquiring Qualcomm's FLO TV spectrum. On Monday, AT&T - the exclusive carrier of Apple's iPhone in the United States - announced that the purchase is a done deal, although the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. AT&T anticipates closing the sale during the second half of 2011.

    Qualcomm is selling the wireless spectrum licenses in the Lower 700 MHz frequency band to AT&T for $1.92 billion. The result for AT&T is the ability of the wireless carrier to accelerate its 4G network plans. According to AT&T:

    As part of its longer-term 4G network plans, AT&T intends to deploy this spectrum as supplemental downlink, using carrier aggregation technology. This technology is designed to deliver substantial capacity gains and is expected to be enabled with the completion of 3GPP Release 10. AT&T expects to begin deploying this spectrum once compatible handsets and network equipment are developed.
    As a consequence of the deal, FLO TV will effectively go under in March 2011 - a reality many expected and thought wise since October when Qualcomm publicly stated it would suspend sales of devices for FLO TV. "FLO TV has been a thorn in investors' sides for a long time," Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon told the Wall Street Journal, noting that Qualcomm has nothing to be ashamed of (it made a return on its investment of roughly $700 million for the spectrum). "I'm glad to see them get out of it."

    Wall Street Journal
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