AT&T scores 700 MHz spectrum for 3G, 4G from Windstream

To boost its 3G and 4G network coverage and capacity in Pennsylvania, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is petitioning the FCC to approve its proposed purchase of six 700 MHz C Block licenses from regional telecom firm Windstream.

The six licenses each include 6 MHz of paired spectrum, and are adjacent to--but not part of--the 700 MHz licenses that the FCC auctioned for close to $20 billion in 2008. AT&T purchased around $6.6 billion worth of airwaves during that auction.

According to the companies' filing with the FCC, AT&T plans to "increase its system capacity to enhance existing services, better accommodate its overall growth, and facilitate the provision of additional products and services to the public, and will also facilitate AT&T's continued deployment of GSM/EDGE and HSDPA/UMTS/LTE technologies."

The companies did not disclose financial details of the transaction. The FCC has asked for comments on the proposed transaction.

Such spectrum exchanges are relatively common in the wireless industry as carriers work to expand and deepen their network coverage. Indeed, AT&T last month purchased Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) 700 MHz FLO TV spectrum for $1.9 billion.

Further, AT&T recently moved up the launch timeframe for its planned LTE network. The carrier now plans to launch LTE services in the middle of this year, with the buildout to be completed in 2013.

For more:
- see this FCC filing

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