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AT&T to acquire Glen Allen-based Straight Path

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AT&T plans to acquire Glen Allen-based Straight Path Communications, which holds a nationwide portfolio of millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum.

The deal has a total value of $1.6 billion, which includes liabilities and amounts to be remitted to the FCC. In a January consent decree, the FCC fined Straight Path more than $100 million to resolve an investigation of the company’s failure to deploy wireless services as required under spectrum licenses.

Straight Path shareholders will receive $1.25 billion, or $95.63 per share, which will be paid using AT&T stock.

Dallas-based AT&T said the acquisition complements its January acquisition of FiberTower and augments the company’s holdings of mmWave spectrum.

The company said the deal will support its foray into 5G technology, which will accelerate service for consumers and businesses in areas such as virtual and augmented reality, telemedicine, autonomous cars, smart cities and more.

In October, AT&T and Ericsson conducted the first known demonstration of 5G technology, illustrating the possibilities of mmWave radio access technology for the networks of the future.

In the Straight Path deal, 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.

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

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