AT&T has announced plans to acquire Straight Path Communications for a total transaction value of $1.6 billion. Straight Path Communications holds a nationwide portfolio of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, including 39 GHz and 28 GHz licenses.
AT&T will acquire 735 mmWave licenses in the 39 GHz band and 133 licenses in the 28 GHz band. These licenses cover the entire United States, including all of the top 40 markets.
This acquisition complements AT&T's January acquisition of FiberTower and augments the company's holdings of mmWave spectrum. The acquisition will support AT&T's leadership in 5G, which will accelerate the delivery of new experiences for consumers and businesses like virtual and augmented reality, telemedicine, autonomous cars, smart cities and more.
The ITU has said theoretical peak speeds for standards-based 5G in the mmWave band can eventually reach up to 10 Gbps in the uplink and up to 20 Gbps in the downlink. In October 2016, AT&T and Ericsson conducted the first known demonstration of 5G technology, illustrating the possibilities of mmWave radio access technology for the networks of the future.
And in February 2017, AT&T and Nokia reached a critical milestone, delivering DIRECTV NOW over a fixed wireless 5G connection using 39 GHZ mmWave technology.