Sprint (NYSE:S) has entered into an agreement with U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM) to acquire a portion of its spectrum in the Midwest region. The Chicago-based Sprint intends to receive 20MHz of PCS spectrum from its rival wireless carrier in an effort to strengthen its presence in the region. It will also acquire approximately 585,000 U.S. Cellular customers from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio.
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That customer base constitutes about 10 percent of U.S. Cellular’s market and will lead to the addition of 410,000 subscribers for Sprint. The acquisition of the spectrum will help Sprint fasten its network speed in those areas, said chief executive Dan Hesse in a press release. Sprint currently does not have as broad a spectrum as rivals AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and the deal will help it enhance its presence.
U.S. Cellular’s planned exit from Chicago will lead to about 640 job cuts for the company in the area over time.
The agreement will not be effective until the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission grant approval, but is likely to close by the middle of next year.
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