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T-Mobile signs a $4.4 billion deal to buy most of US Cellular

T-Mobile logo with illustrated background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

T-Mobile has agreed to purchase parts of regional wireless carrier US Cellular in a $4.4 billion deal that includes US Cellular’s wireless customers, stores, and approximately 30 percent of spectrum assets. US Cellular will retain ownership of its towers and “approximately 70 percent of its spectrum portfolio across several spectrum bands,” with T-Mobile entering a long-term arrangement to lease space on more than 2,000 towers.

According to T-Mobile, the deal will improve nationwide coverage for US Cellular wireless customers while providing better 5G connectivity in “underserved rural areas” where T-Mobile sometimes struggles compared to AT&T and Verizon. It would also reduce the number of carriers competing in markets where US…

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