T-Mobile said Monday that it’s reached deals to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless for $2.37 billion in cash, allowing it to improve certain kinds of cellular service in markets across the U.S.
The agreements also include the transfer of other kinds of spectrum licenses from T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless that the companies value at about $950 million.
The deals, combined with T-Mobile’s existing holdings, will give T-Mobile low-band spectrum in nine of the top 10 U.S. markets.
Low-band spectrum boosts cellular coverage inside buildings and in rural areas. It also has the ability to travel greater distances than high-band spectrum, making it a more efficient way to provide coverage at the edge of cities and in less densely populated areas.
Combined with T-Mobile’s existing holdings, the low-band spectrum will cover about 158 million people in U.S. markets including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Detroit.
T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 U.S. carrier, is owned by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG. It said it plans to roll out service and compatible phones as early as the fourth quarter of 2014. The deals are expected to close in mid-2014 and remain subject to regulatory approvals.