A significant chunk of spectrum is changing hands in the wireless space. Today AT&T announced an agreement to buy Straight Path Communications.
Straight Path Communications owns a substantial amount of spectrum in the 28Ghz and 39Ghz ranges, known as millimeter wave. This is the spectrum originally picked up by Winstar back in the bubble. Winstar was bought by IDT, which spun out the spectrum holdings as Straight Path.
This spectrum was for a long time not terribly desirable relative to what consumer wireless applications demand. But with 5G looming large on the horizon now and likely to take advantage of its large throughput potential, it’s gotten hot. Verizon already has options on similar swaths of spectrum via the XO deal.
AT&T is paying $95.63 per share in AT&T stock, which works out to $1.25B going to shareholders. The total value of the deal is $1.6B, with the balance being sent back to the FCC as part of the consent decree from this past winter — an event which did indeed kick off an auction. Straight Path shareholders should be pretty happy with the 204% premium above the current stock price.
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