AT&T is spending $780 million in cash to scoop up more wireless spectrum.
The company announced Tuesday that it is buying the U.S. retail wireless operations of a carrier called Atlantic Tele-Network or ATNI. As part of the deal, AT&T will acquire wireless spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 585,000 subscribers.
ATNI operates under the Alltel name in the U.S. Its network covers roughly 4.6 million in rural areas in six states including, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina.
The spectrum licenses that AT&T is acquiring are in the 700MHz, 850MHz, and 1900MHz band. AT&T uses 700MHz for its 4G LTE network and it uses 850MHz and 1900MHz for its 2G and 3G networks.