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AT&T may buy Qualcomm's FLO TV spectrum to boost speeds

updated 02:35 pm EST, Thu November 18, 2010

AT&T said to be in talks with Qualcomm

Qualcomm is involved in talks with AT&T to sell the former's spectrum for its ailing Flo TV service, tips hinted on Thursday. Two unnamed sources with knowledge of the talks told BusinessWeek Qualcomm talked with AT&T and other carriers, though their names and specifics were not revealed. Verizon and T-Mobile are not among them, however.

The 700MHz spectrum could be sold for as much as $1 billion, according to an estimate. Qualcomm purchased it for $683 in a time span ranging from 2003 to 2008. AT&T is a prospective buyer because it aims to upgrade its 3G network to bring higher speeds as the iPhone and other smartphones have weighed down its network.

Qualcomm's senior VP of investor relations confirmed the company is in discussions with others about the sale of spectrum but didn't name any of the parties.

It will likely cost the company between $125 million and $175 million in fiscal year 2011 to exit its FLO TV business. Service is likely to be maintained until spring.

by MacNN Staff



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