Sprint and U.S. Cellular have struck a deal that will see Hesse and Co. snag some spectrum and customers from USCC in different parts of the Midwest. The will cost Sprint $480 million and will give it 20MHz of 1900MHz PCS spectrum in markets such as Chicago, South Bend, Ind. and Champaign, Ill., as well as some 10MHz spectrum in St. Louis. Also included in the transaction is around 585,000 U.S. Cellular customers. Sprint will share more details on its transition plans for those customers once the deal closes, which is expected to happen in mid-2013.
Sprint says in the announcement of this deal that it plans to use the spectrum included in the deal to continue its Network Vision upgrades and 4G LTE rollout, which is something that I'm sure the customers in the markets mentioned earlier are excited to hear. As for U.S. Cellular's reasons for striking this deal and exiting these markets, the carrier explains that it's not "reaching the rate of profitable customer growth we need to justify continuing to make investments and continue our operations." U.S. Cellular customers in the affected markets can go to USCellularinfo.com to find more information about this deal.
Sprint to Acquire Spectrum and Customers in the Midwest from U.S. Cellular for $480 Million
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), November 07, 2012 - Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) to acquire PCS spectrum and customers in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio including the Chicago and St. Louis markets for $480 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. The additional spectrum will be used to supplement Sprint’s coverage in these areas as it continues to deploy its Network Vision upgrade and roll out 4G LTE nationally.
“This transaction will enable us to strengthen our business and become a more robust competitor,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO. “Acquiring this spectrum will significantly increase Sprint’s network capacity and improve the customer experience in several important Midwest markets including Chicago and St. Louis. We welcome the new customers in these markets and look forward to providing them with Sprint’s unique combination of unlimited plans, an iconic device portfolio and unmatched customer service.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Sprint will acquire 20 MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900 MHz band in various Midwest markets including Chicago, South Bend, Ind. and Champaign, Ill. and 10 MHz of PCS spectrum in the St. Louis market. In addition, the transaction involves approximately 585,000 U.S. Cellular customers. U.S Cellular will continue its business operations outside of these markets following the closing.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission and is expected to close in mid-2013. In the meantime, the accounts and service of U.S. Cellular customers in these markets will not change. Once the transaction is closed, Sprint will provide additional information on transition plans. Customers with questions can go to USCellularinfo.com to learn more.
The 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 U.S. industries, during the last four years. Sprint is the only national carrier with Truly UnlimitedSM 4G LTE data, text and calling to any mobile. Everything Data plans with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM, which includes unlimited Web, texting and calling to and from any mobile in America while on the Sprint Network, start at just $79.99 per month (excludes surcharges and taxes) for smartphones. Sprint offers a wide selection of 4G LTE smartphones and has launched 4G LTE in 32 cities and expects that 4G LTE will be available in more than 115 additional cities in the coming months.