AT&T has decided that it wants to make its 4G LTE service available to over 270 million Americans by the end of 2013, but with limited wireless spectrum available in the areas it needs to improve, the company has decided to strike a deal with its archenemy Verizon.
To expand its coverage AT&T has purchased $1.9 billion worth of Verizon’s lower 700MHz band B block wireless spectrum. The extra wireless spectrum will give AT&T access to cover 42 million people in 18 states.
While the deal may sound like AT&T is just getting bigger and more powerful, the FCC’s acting chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn, released the following statement on why consumers should be happy about the deal:
“This is a big win for consumers, especially in rural areas, who will see more competition and more choices. Also, by making it easier for small wireless carriers to compete, today’s interoperability solution will spur private investment, job creation, and the development of innovative new services and devices.”
AT&T says that it plans to “substantially complete” the build out of its 4G LTE network by summer 2014. The new spectrum will cover people in California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.