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AT&T Incorporation, the second largest US wireless carrier has agreed to buy spectrum and subscribers from Atlantic Tele-Network, a subsidiary of Alltel for $780 million in cash, bolstering the company’s network and bringing in 585,000 new customers.
Bloomberg reported that the deal included the purchase of licences, network assets and retail stores.
The spectrum is in the 700, 850 and 1900-megahertz bands, making it complementary to AT&T’s network, the company said.
Atlantic Tele-Network operates under the Alltel brand in six states, mostly in the South and Midwest.
AT&T, led by Chief Executive Officer, Randall Stephenson, has been snapping up airwaves in a bid to catch up with Verizon Wireless, the largest US wireless carrier.
Verizon won approval last year to buy airwave rights from Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) and other cable customers for about $3.6 billion. Wireless carriers rely on spectrum to transmit phone calls and data to mobile devices.
Demand for spectrum has increased consolidation in the wireless business and buoyed the values of companies that own a desirable collection of airwaves