AT&T announces spectrum deal with Aloha Partners

08 January 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


AT&T has announced a deal to purchase 49 advanced wireless spectrum licences from wireless US spectrum owner Aloha Partners II.

This move complements AT&T’s LTE network roll-out, which is nearly complete, covering 90% of the US population.

The number two US mobile service provider announced two days ago that it has extended its 4G services to 26 new markets in the US, raising AT&T’s total LTE markets to 500.

The transaction for the licences, which cover nearly 50 million people in 14 states, is subject to regulatory approval but is expected to be finalised in the second half of 2014.

Aloha had reportedly intended to build a larger broadband wireless network, but the company did not have sufficient spectrum for a standalone network, leading it to consider joint ventures with existing wireless carriers.

The move came at the same time as AT&T announced plans to become the first US mobile operator to allow companies to offer sponsored content to its customers.

The sponsored data plan will allow businesses to pay for a customer’s wireless data associated with the delivery of sponsored content or apps. The announcement has caused concern that the new billing model could contravene net neutrality rules.