T-Mobile’s network is about to get a whole lot bigger.
The Bellevue-based carrier announced today that it plans to acquire a chunk of 700 MHz A-Block spectrum from Verizon Wireless.
The deal secures key “low-band” spectrum for the company to improve its network’s performance in most of the major markets in the U.S.
In exchange for Verizon’s spectrum, T-Mobile will hand over $2.365 billion in cash, as well as network licenses valued at $950 million.
“This is a great opportunity to secure low-band spectrum in many of the top markets in America,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a press release. “These transactions represent our biggest move yet in a series of initiatives that are rapidly expanding our already lightning fast network and improving its performance across the country. We will continue to find ways to advance our customers’ network experience just as our bold Un-carrier moves have shaken up the wireless industry to benefit consumers.”
While the company’s “Uncarrier” moves have shaken up the industry, T-Mobile’s network remains a weak point. Low-band spectrum can reach farther from a single source, which can help T-Mobile expand the reach of its coverage to areas outside of its traditionally stronger city coverage.
T-Mobile said that it expected the deal to close in mid-2014, though it is subject to approvals from the FCC and the Justice Department.
There’s more to come from T-Mobile this week, though: the company is slated to make its “Uncarrier 4.0” announcement at CES on Wednesday. Early rumors have pointed to the company announcing a credit for subscribers leaving another network, which AT&T pre-emptively responded to by offering T-Mobile subscribers a credit for leaving.