AT&T Acquires 735 Millimeter Wave Licenses in Top-40 U.S. Markets

AT&T is acquiring Straight Path Communications, a holder of spectrum licenses in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz region. The deal means AT&T will acquire 735 licenses in the 39 GHz band and 133 licenses in the 28 GHz band. These licenses cover the entire United States, including all of the top 40 markets, to support the coming 5G network.

That move is but the latest in a series of developments indicating that millimeter wave spectrum and small cells will be foundational for coming 5G networks. Previously, AT&T had acquired 24 GHz and 39 GHz bands covering 8.4 billion MHz POPs as part of AT&T’s acquisition of FiberNet.

Dish Network, for its part, acquired from sister company EchoStar spectrum licenses covering four markets in the 28 GHz band. THat move adds more spectrum to the trove Dish Network has amassed, either to build its own mobile or wireless network, or as an asset to be sold.

Verizon, for its part, as part of its acquisition of XO Communications, gained
102 licenses in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands, covering 188 billion MHz­-POPs, or 23 times the FiberTower assets.

Separately, Charter Communications has applied to the Federal Communications Commission to test 28 GHz frequencies.
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