T-Mobile, Verizon Eye Split US Cellular Acquisition

T-Mobile's tab would reportedly be about $2 billion.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

May 9, 2024

2 Min Read
us cellular acquisition proposed

US Cellular is pursuing two separate sales of operations and wireless spectrum to national giants T-Mobile and Verizon, according to reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday afternoon that US Cellular wants to divvy up its divestment into two separate transactions.

A possible Verizon acquisition appears further out on the timeline than a T-Mobile deal, and it could end up stalling, sources said. The prospective price tag on T-Mobile's US Cellular acquisition appears to be close to $2 billion, and it would give T-Mobile "some operations and wireless spectrum licenses."

The split-sale structure might pacify federal regulators like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which are seeking to maintain the competitiveness of the wireless market.

U.S. regulators did, however, allow T-Mobile to buy Sprint in 2020 after a lengthy battle.

An acquisition of US Cellular assets would give either company access to some of the mobile network operator's more than 51 million wireless licenses. The value of owned spectrum licenses has increased due to the FCC being unable to auction off new spectrum.

Cellular towers are not included in either negotiation, sources said.

Graeme Scott, Telarus' vice president of advanced networks and mobility said such a deal could have upside for channel partners.

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"In our experience, acquisitions like this, if executed well, can give organizations the ability to scale and offer tremendous benefits for our technology advisors," Scott told Channel Futures. "We saw this several years ago when Charter acquired Time Warner Cable to create Spectrum. That acquisition provided a strong offering to our advisors, and they're now a top supplier in our portfolio. Verizon and T-Mobile have both shown a commitment to grow with the channel and thus have added resources which can provide great value for our ecosystem."

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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