AT&T and Verizon Wireless announced a spectrum swap Dec. 4 as part of the divestiture requirements of AT&T's $2.8 billion acquisition of Dobson Communications. Before the acquisition, Dobson was the largest independent rural wireless provider in the United States, with 1.7 million customers.
Verizon Wireless will acquire from AT&T some former Dobson properties in Kentucky.
The deal also calls for Verizon to acquire 10MHz of PCS (Personal Communications Service) spectrum in a number of markets and receive an additional, unspecified cash consideration from AT&T.
Click here to read about AT&T's purchase of pay-per-call search provider Ingenio.
In turn, AT&T will acquire some of the licenses, network assets and subscribers of Rural Cellular in the Burlington, Vt., metropolitan market in addition to rural service areas in Vermont, Washington and New York.
AT&T will also acquire a cellular license from Verizon in Kentucky. Verizon has a pending deal to acquire Rural Cellular.
In addition, AT&T agreed to sell Rural's Cellular One brand to Trilogy Partners.
To complete the Dobson divestiture requirements, AT&T has entered into a separate agreement with MTPCS to sell the former Dobson property in Texas and AT&T's share of the former Dobson partnership holding in portions of Oklahoma.
The transaction with Verizon will extend AT&T's coverage and services in New York, Vermont, Washington and Kentucky. The spectrum swaps are contingent upon regulatory approval and are expected to close by mid-2008.
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