T-Mobile has announced that it has purchased a significant amount of AWS spectrum from super-regional carrier US Cellular which covers metropolitan areas in the the Mississippi Valley region, such as Birmingham, Kansas City, Lexington, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, and St. Louis. The spectrum will be used to roll out LTE service in these cities and is worth $308 million in cash according to the transaction details.
The acquisition also reveals T-Mobile’s goals of coverage expansion outside of its typically urban-focused coverage areas towards areas with lesser population density but still significant enough to provide expanded services and coverage. The spectrum acquisition is expected to cover 32 million people once the spectrum is deployed and utilized in the future.
Currently, T-Mobile is merging the MetroPCS LTE network with its own LTE network in order to provide faster speeds for both MetroPCS and T-Mobile customers in select markets regardless of device. Early reports from Las Vegas indicate that the network merger is indeed providing faster, more reliable service for both sets of customers as T-Mobile works to transition the MetroPCS customer base to GSM/LTE from CDMA/LTE by mid-2015. Regulators have yet to approve the transaction.