AT&T To Buy Flo TV Spectrum For $1.9 Billion

After announcing plans earlier this year to shutter its struggling FLO TV service, Qualcomm today said it would sell the wireless spectrum for its mobile television network to AT&T for $1.9 billion. Qualcomm had acquired the rights to use the 700 megahertz spectrum for $683 million in government auctions held between 2003 and 2008.

AT&T, which last month was reported to be in discussions with Qualcomm regarding FLO TV spectrum, announced plans to use the 700 MHz licenses to help increase capacity for its 4G network, rolling out next year. The entire FLO TV footprint covers 300 million people nationwide including cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The deal is subject to FCC and other approvals and AT&T and Qualcomm expect to close the sale during the second half of 2011.

The FLO TV network and business is expected to be shut down by March 2011. Qualcomm said the spectrum sales to AT&T would increase restructuring charges related to FLO TV previously estimated at $125 million to $175 million  for its fiscal 2011.

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