AT&T Throws Down $1.9 Bil for Better Reception

AT&T spent $1.93 billion for wireless spectrum from Qualcomm Inc. This spectrum will give users better AT&T reception, especially inside urban buildings, according to Bloomberg, which has the story:

AT&T Inc., the second-largest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, agreed to buy wireless spectrum from Qualcomm Inc. for $1.93 billion as customers increasingly use bandwidth-hogging services such as video downloads.

The spectrum, in the lower 700 megahertz frequency band, covers 300 million people in the U.S., the companies said today in a statement. Chipmaker Qualcomm had acquired the spectrum for its mobile-TV service, which it plans to shut down in March.

AT&T is upgrading its third-generation network to allow for higher speeds while it works on building out its fourth- generation network to debut next year. Larger rival Verizon Wireless turned on 4G service earlier this month.

The Qualcomm spectrum will help AT&T alleviate network- congestion problems such as those experienced by its customers who use Apple Inc.’ iPhone, said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Good thing for AT&T that Qualcomm’s mobile TV service never worked out.