Sunday, December 19, 2010

AT&T to Acquire Qualcomm's 700 MHz FLO Spectrum

AT&T agreed to acquire Qualcomm's lower 700 MHz D and E Block (Channel 55 and 56) unpaired U.S. spectrum licenses for $1.925 billion. The sale follows Qualcomm's previously announced plan to restructure its FLO TV business. Qualcomm will now shut down its FLO TV business and network in March 2011.

The spectrum covers more than 300 million people total nationwide: 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D and E block spectrum covers more than 70 million people in five of the top 15 U.S. metropolitan areas — New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco; 6 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D block spectrum covers more than 230 million people across the rest of the U.S.

The deal requires FCC and Department of Justice approval, but the companies anticipate closing the sale during the second half of calendar 2011.

Qualcomm confirmed that it is integrating carrier aggregation technology into its chipset roadmap to enable supplemental downlink and intends to market the technology globally. The carrier aggregation technology, which is specified in 3GPP Release 10, enables unpaired spectrum bands to be used in conjunction with existing paired bands to obtain substantial improvements in downlink performance.