Several months ago, MMW reported that AT&T was believed to be interested in acquiring Qualcomm’s FLO TV spectrum.
Today comes word that the rumor has resulted in reality.
Qualcomm is, indeed, selling the wireless spectrum licenses in the Lower 700 MHz frequency band to AT&T for $1.92 billion. According to AT&T, the move will bolster AT&T’s ability to provide an advanced 4G mobile broadband experience for its customers in the years ahead.
Qualcomm is believed to have spent just under $700 million to acquire and establish the FLO TV spectrum. But as the FLO TV network floundered, Qualcomm began entertaining other options for its spectrum, a process that ultimately resulted in Monday’s announcement with AT&T.
AT&T stated its plans for the spectrum in an official release announcing the purchase:
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.
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.