AT&T has announced plans to acquire Straight Path Communications which holds a nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses.
The transaction has a total value of $1.6 billion, and the two companies expect to close within 12 months.
Straight Path shareholders will receive $1.25 billion, or $95.63 per share, which will be paid using AT&T stock.
This acquisition complements AT&T’s January acquisition of FiberTower and augments the company’s holdings of mmWave spectrum, the US wireless carrier said.
The move is expected to accelerate the delivery of new experiences for consumers and businesses like virtual and augmented reality, telemedicine, autonomous cars, smart cities and more.
The ITU has said theoretical peak speeds for standards-based 5G in the mmWave band can eventually reach up to 10Gbps in the uplink and up to 20Gbps in the downlink.
In October 2016, 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.
Last February, 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 US, including all of the top 40 markets.