AT&T to buy 700 MHz, AWS spectrum from NTCH, MilkyWay Broadband and Paul Bunyan

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is seeking to buy more 700 MHz and AWS spectrum, indicating that even as it pushes for more airwave through auctions it is still intent on gobbling up spectrum on the secondary market.

AT&T applied to the FCC to approve three separate spectrum transactions. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed. In all of the transactions, AT&T is arguing the spectrum will let it "augment network capacity, better accommodate its overall growth and facilitate the provision of additional products and services to its customers in the markets that the transaction would affect" as well as generally bolster its LTE network.

In the first deal, AT&T wants to get from NTCH and its affiliate WGH Communications 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz B Block spectrum in 18 counties in six Cellular Market Areas ("CMAs") across parts of Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. In a second deal for 700 MHz spectrum, AT&T wants to get from MilkyWay Broadband 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz C Block spectrum in 71 counties in 15 CMAs across parts of Florid a, Georgia, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

In the third deal for AWS spectrum, AT&T wants to get from the Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative 20 MHz of AWS-1 A Block spectrum in nine counties in CMAs in parts of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Although AT&T has made it clear it wants to bid in the fall auction of AWS-3 spectrum and is likely going to be a bidder in next year's incentive auctions of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum, the company has found a great deal of airwaves in the secondary market in recent months.

In February, AT&T moved to acquire a handful of licenses from Oregon cable company BendBroadband. The licenses include two 20 MHz licenses for 1.7/2.1 GHz AWS spectrum and one 10 MHz license for 700 MHz B Block spectrum in rural Oregon.

And in January, AT&T announced it purchased 49 AWS-1 spectrum licenses from Aloha Partners II, L.P. The carrier didn't disclose the financial terms of the agreement, but said the licenses cover nearly 50 million people in 14 states--California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

For more:
- see this PhoneScoop article
- see these three separate FCC documents

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