12 February 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
AT&T has acquired substantial millimetre wave spectrum for 5G by buying a company called FiberTower.
FiberTower, which was in chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, originally held 24GHz and 39GHz spectrum, and its sparse website still lists those bands. However AT&T says it has acquired just 39GHz spectrum with the company: FiberTower gave up the 24GHz spectrum (green and blue in the map) as part of a resolution of a dispute with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US regulator, because it had not built out the network by the required deadline.
AT&T will have to build out the 39GHz infrastructure (purple and yellow on the map) by 2024 under the new resolution with the FCC. It’s likely that the FCC will be able to offer 24GHz licences to new bidders.