AT&T strikes deal with Sprint to buy WCS spectrum

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: May 13, 2014

AT&T globe logo

We frequently see major carriers buy, sell and trade spectrum to one another as they determine that they’ve got extra airwaves that another operator wants. The latest two U.S. carriers to strike a spectrum deal are AT&T and Sprint.

A Federal Communications Filing (PDF link) has revealed that AT&T has agreed to buy up all of Sprint’s 2.3GHz WCS spectrum licenses. In total, Sprint owns 19 spectrum licenses spread across the south in states such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

There’s no mention in the filing regarding how much AT&T has agreed to pay Sprint for its spectrum licenses. As is usually the case with spectrum deals like this one, the FCC must approve the deal before it can be completed.

So what AT&T is planning to do with Sprint’s WCS spectrum? That much is still a mystery, as AT&T only says that it intends to use the airwaves for “mobile broadband.”

It’s worth noting that AT&T has been snapping up WCS spectrum for a while now, and in 2012 the big blue carrier filed a proposal with the FCC asking that it be allowed to use the airwaves for 4G LTE coverage. For now we’ll just have to sit and speculate about AT&T’s intentions, and you AT&T folk out there can do a little dance in the comments below to celebrate your carrier’s latest attempted spectrum acquisition.

Via FierceWireless, FCC (PDF)