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AT&T sets its sights on Straight Path

AT&T said the acquisition will accelerate the delivery of new experiences for consumers and businesses including smart cities

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AT&T's planned acquisition will help accelerate the use of 5G for smart city applications
AT&T's planned acquisition will help accelerate the use of 5G for smart city applications

US wireless carrier AT&T is stepping up its 5G network ambitions with the planned acquisition of Straight Path Communications.

 

The wireless technology company holds a significant nationwide portfolio of millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses. The deal valued at $1.6bn will be paid using AT&T stock.

 

AT&T said the acquisition will accelerate the delivery of new experiences for consumers and businesses like smart cities, virtual and augmented reality, telemedicine, autonomous cars and more. It follows its purchase of FiberTower in January and further augments its holdings of mmWave spectrum.

 

In October last year, AT&T and Ericsson conducted the first known demonstration of 5G technology, illustrating the possibilities of mmWave radio access technology for the networks of the future.

 

And in February 2017, AT&T and Nokia reached a critical milestone, delivering DIRECTV NOW over a fixed wireless 5G connection using 39 GHZ mmWave technology.

 

AT&T will acquire 735 mmWave 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.

 

The International Telecommunications Union has said theoretical peak speeds for standards-based 5G in the mmWave band can eventually reach up to 10 Gbps in the uplink and up to 20 Gbps in the downlink.

 

The $1.6bn transaction value includes liabilities and amounts to be remitted to the FCC per the terms of Straight Path’s January 2017 consent decree. Straight Path shareholders will receive $1.25bn, or $95.63 per share.

 

The transaction is subject to FCC review, and the two companies expect to close within 12 months.

 

 

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