Sprint has entered into an agreement with US Cellular to purchase its PCS spectrum and customers throughout several midwest states and metro areas. The purchase includes the spectrum and customers in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. The metro areas include the Chicago and St. Louis markets. The total purchase price for the agreement is $480 million in cash, as well as the assumption of “certain liabilities” of US Cellular by Sprint.
“This transaction will enable us to strengthen our business and become a more robust competitor,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO. “Acquiring this spectrum will significantly increase Sprint’s network capacity and improve the customer experience in several important Midwest markets including Chicago and St. Louis. We welcome the new customers in these markets and look forward to providing them with Sprint’s unique combination of unlimited plans, an iconic device portfolio and unmatched customer service.”
Sprint Purchases Large Piece of Midwest US Cellular Market
Sprint is acquiring 20MHz of the PCS spectrum in the 1900 MHz band in the Chicago, South Bend, Indiana, and Champaign, Illinois. They are also acquiring the 10MHz of the PCS spectrum in the St. Louis market. They are also gaining 585,000 US Cellular customers, but that’s not the entirety of the company. US Cellular will continue to operate in other markets, but the Midwest has long been its core market. Overall this move constitutes a loss of about 10-percent of their customer base.
Happening at the same time is the announcement by SoftBank that they will be purchasing 70-percent of Sprint with an investment of $20.1 billion. The FCC deal is expected to be completed by the middle of 2013, and is currently awaiting approval by the Department of Justice and the FCC. US Cellular customers will remain under their curent plans and carrier until the deal is finalized, after which Sprint will distribute information about the transition. For now, US Cellular and Sprint customers have been invited to view more information at a Sprint organized site: USCellularInfo.com.