AT&T to Acquire Straight Path for $1.6B
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 | Comments

AT&T 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, including liabilities and amounts to be remitted to the FCC per the terms of Straight Path's January 2017 consent decree.

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 United States, including all of the top 40 markets. 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, a statement said. In February in conjunction with the FiberTower acquisition, AT&T said it was in advanced discussions with power companies and others to trial Project AirGig in at least two locations by the fourth quarter. Project AirGig is a patented broadband-over-power lines (BPL) technology that the carrier said it has tested at its outdoor facility with positive results.

The Straight Path acquisition will support AT&T's 5G activities, which will accelerate the delivery of new experiences such as virtual and augmented reality, telemedicine, autonomous cars and smart cities for consumers and businesses.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said theoretical peak speeds for standards-based 5G in the mmWave band can eventually reach up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) in the uplink and up to 20 Gbps in the downlink.

The transaction is subject to FCC review, and the two companies expect to close within 12 months.

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