Verizon Grabs Straight Path from AT&T

By Paula Bernier May 11, 2017

Less than a month after we got news that AT&T would be buying Straight Path Communications in an effort to expand its spectrum holdings to prepare for 5G, Verizon has swooped in and taken over, snagging the millimeter wave spectrum holder for more than $3 billion.

Verizon’s acquisition of Straight Path will involve an all-stock deal valued at $3 billion, or $184 a share. It will also involve Verizon paying AT&T a $38 million termination fee.

Straight Path Communications is interesting to these two tier 1 cellular service providers because it has 735 millimeter wave licenses in the 39 gigaHertz band and 133 licenses in the 28 gigaHertz band. These licenses cover the U.S., including all of the nation’s top 40 markets.

An April 28 Verizon blog expressed the importance of millimeter wave spectrum to 5G, which is what’s next in cellular networking. “The next big technological innovations are coming in 5G to serve the future needs of business, education, government, and consumers,” Nicola Palmer wrote for the Verizon blog. “Enhanced fixed and mobile broadband, low-latency services, and massive IoT scale will thrive on mid-band and millimeter wave spectrum, which is where we are focused for growth.”

The blog was Verizon’s effort to explain why it didn’t buy 600MHz spectrum during the recent spectrum auction, in which T-Mobile captured 45 percent of all the low-band spectrum sold. Verizon’s Palmer said Verizon wasn’t interested in that, but rather is more interested in mid-band and millimeter wave spectrum, and already has “strong spectrum holdings in the 700, 850, 1900MHz/PCS, AWS 1 and 3 spectrum bands.”

5G is a new kind of cellular that will be noteworthy due to its parity with wireline speeds and its ability to address the Internet of Things with such capabilities as ultra reliable low latency communications.




Edited by Alicia Young

Executive Editor, TMC

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Two Technologies That Showcase Good VR Could Cost $20K

By: Rob Enderle    6/23/2017

This month, there were two interesting product announcements. The first was in regard to very high-resolution displays that should arrive in VR headse…

Read More

Popularity of Voice Recognition Gadgets Highlights Need for Speech Analytics

By: Kayla Matthews    6/21/2017

Voice-activated personal assistant platforms such as Amazon's Alexa continue to grow in popularity, making lives easier in all sorts of ways. As such …

Read More

Can Machine Learning Defuse the Ticking Time Bomb of Open Recalls?

By: Special Guest    6/20/2017

Did you know that 150 million vehicles have been recalled in the USA since 2014? That's 38 percent of all the cars in America. And, according to Recal…

Read More

Technology and Ties: 5 Reasons Gen X is Taking Over in Business

By: Special Guest    6/20/2017

The generational clash in the workplace between Millennials and Baby Boomers gets all the hype. It reminds me of the debate over who would win - Muham…

Read More

For Amazon-Whole Foods' Future, Look to Zappos, Not Robots

By: Doug Mohney    6/19/2017

Amazon's bid for Whole Foods is obvious and brilliant. There's a lot of crazy talk about how Whole Foods will get turned into people-less stores like …

Read More