T-Mobile US and Verizon Eyeing UScellular Acquisition

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T-Mobile US and Verizon are reportedly in talks to acquire UScellular, with negotiations underway to divide the telco’s assets between them. According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, both major mobile network operators (MNOs) are strategizing separate deals to secure portions of UScellular’s operations.

The potential acquisition, valued at around $3 billion, could see T-Mobile US emerging as the frontrunner to acquire UScellular’s mobile operations and spectrum licenses for over $2 billion. Sources suggest that this deal might be finalized as early as later this month.

Verizon’s involvement in the acquisition remains less clear, with discussions expected to be more protracted and uncertain in outcome compared to T-Mobile’s potential agreement.

UScellular’s deliberations on a sale have been ongoing since August, with the company’s first quarter results affirming an active pursuit of strategic options. The company’s shrinking postpaid mobile customer base, which fell from 4.74 million at the end of 2022 to 4.49 million by March 2024, underscores the urgency of exploring acquisition prospects.

While Dish Network was previously considered a potential suitor for UScellular, financial challenges have likely sidelined its bid. Dish, currently navigating bankruptcy threats, is focusing on stabilizing its operations.

For T-Mobile and Verizon, acquiring UScellular’s assets would significantly bolster their spectrum holdings, enabling them to strengthen their market positions without raising substantial regulatory concerns. Moreover, with UScellular’s growing fixed wireless customer base of 124,000 subscribers, both MNOs are eyeing the telco’s potential for expansion.

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