AT&T acquires 5G spectrum holdings company, second in 2 months

As we fade away from the tepid 600MHz auction that just took place, AT&T is looking to higher spectrum ranges with its interest in 5G connections.

The telco has announced a $1.6 billion buyout of Straight Path Communications, a spectrum holdings company with licenses for 28GHz and 39GHz bands. A total of 868 licenses covering all of the top 40 markets in the US and other nationwide locales will be turned over. The deal’s closure may pend upon an FCC review.

AT&T acquired FiberTower, another such holdings company, back in January with 24GHz and 39GHz licenses spread across vast regions of the continental United Sates.

These licenses will allow AT&T to operate cellular internet service at those frequencies in the areas as prescribed within them in addition to license-free spectrum recently made available nationwide by the FCC. Ma Bell, though, still has to factor in network build-out costs — which may not be terribly high, thanks to an ongoing trial involving plastic antennas.

There are questions as to whether AT&T is over-leveraging debt in order to pursue a spate of acquisitions with the biggest fish in the pond being the $85 billion deal for Time Warner.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.