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Deutsche Telekom may be planning to merge U.S. Cellular with its own T-Mobile brand next year, but it may be getting a bit less spectrum and customers than it may have initially anticipated.
Sprint announced Wednesday its intentions to acquire PCS spectrum as well as midwest customers across five states as part of a $480 million cash deal with U.S. Cellular.
Third-place carrier Sprint hopes to use the additional spectrum to beef up its 4G LTE network across sections of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, including the lucrative Chicago and St. Louis markets.
“This transaction will enable us to strengthen our business and become a more robust competitor,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO. “We welcome the new customers in these markets and look forward to providing them with Sprint’s unique combination of unlimited plans, an iconic device portfolio and unmatched customer service.”
The deal nets Sprint 20MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900MHz band across Indiana and Illinois, as well as 10MHz in the St. Louis market. The transaction will involve approximately 585,000 U.S. Cellular customers, with the deal expected to close by the middle of next year.
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