Sprint buys spectrum and customers from US Cellular

US operator Sprint has signed an agreement with regional operator US Cellular to acquire PCS spectrum and customers in the Midwest region of the country.

Sprint will acquire 20MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900MHz band in various Midwest markets and 10MHz of PCS spectrum in the St Louis market. In addition, approximately 585,000 US Cellular customers will be transferred over to Sprint, which has paid $480m in cash as part of the deal.

The spectrum will be used to supplement Sprint’s coverage in the area as it continues to deploy its Network Vision upgrade and roll out 4G LTE nationally.  US Cellular will continue its business operations outside of these markets following the closing of the deal.

“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.”

Sprint is currently the subject of a takeover bid after Japanese carrier Softbank announced its intention to acquire a 70 per cent stake in the firm in October. Softbank said that the acquisition will rank it third among global operators in terms of combined mobile telecom service revenue.

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