AT&T announced that it will acquire Straight Path Communications to gain a nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave spectrum. AT&T will gain 735 licenses at 39 GHz and 133 licenses at 28 GHz, which cover the entire U.S., including the top 40 markets. The transaction is subject to FCC review, and the two companies expect to close within 12 months.
According to AT&T, the deal is valued at $1.6 billion, including liabilities and amounts to be paid to the FCC under Straight Path's January 2017 consent decree. Straight Path shareholders will receive $1.25 billion, or $95.63 per share, which will be paid using AT&T stock.
The acquisition complements AT&T's acquisition of FiberTower in January, which gave AT&T spectrum at 24 and 39 GHz.
In October 2016, AT&T and Ericsson conducted what the company says is “the first known demonstration of 5G technology,” illustrating the possibilities of millimeter wave radio access. During February 2017, AT&T and Nokia demonstrated a broadcast of DIRECTV NOW over a fixed wireless connection at 39 GHz.