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T-Mobile announces multibillion-dollar US Cellular deal

T-Mobile is buying US Cellular’s wireless operations and certain spectrum assets (AP)
T-Mobile is buying US Cellular’s wireless operations and certain spectrum assets (AP)

T-Mobile is buying US Cellular’s wireless operations and certain spectrum assets in a deal valued at 4.4 billion dollars (£3.4 billion), and further consolidating the industry.

As part of the agreement, T-Mobile will get US Cellular’s wireless operations and about 30% of spectrum assets across several spectrum bands.

T-Mobile will also enter into a new master licence agreement on more than 2,000 towers and extend the lease term for the approximately 600 towers where T-Mobile is already a tenant.

“Bringing together US Cellular’s network resources with ours will enable us to fill gaps in connectivity that will create a better experience for all of our customers with more coverage and more capacity,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said in a statement.

T-Mobile said on Tuesday that US Cellular customers will gain access to its 5G network, giving them better coverage and speed.

“In the face of rising competition and increasing capital intensity required to keep pace with the latest technologies, and following our careful and deliberate strategic review, we are confident that continuing to deliver on our mission requires a level of scale and investment that is best achieved by integrating our wireless operations with those of T-Mobile,” US Cellular chairman LeRoy Carlson Jr said in a statement.

The transaction includes a combination of cash and up to about two billion dollars (£1.5 billion) of assumed debt. Up to 100 million dollars (£78 million) of the cash component is contingent on hitting certain financial and operational metrics between the deal’s signing and closing.

US Cellular will keep about 70% of of its spectrum portfolio across several spectrum bands.

The deal has been unanimously approved by the boards of United States Cellular Corp and Telephone and Data Systems Inc, which is a majority shareholder of US Cellular. It is expected to close in mid-2025.

Shares of US Cellular jumped 13% before the opening bell on Tuesday. Shares of T-Mobile were flat.