If you're a T-Mobile customer, 2014 could be a great year for you.
The nation's fourth-largest wireless carrier just sealed a deal with Verizon to acquire billions of dollars' worth of invisible real estate. The airwaves T-Mobile just snapped up puts the company in a much stronger position to upgrade its network and data services. Who's going to be affected? The map below makes it clear:
Under the terms of the deal, T-Mobile will pay Verizon about $2.4 billion in exchange for access to airwaves in the 700 MHz range. This part of the wireless spectrum is especially valuable because of its ability to pass through walls —important in urban areas — and to travel relatively far, which makes a big difference in rural areas.
A separate agreement announced Monday trades another eight 700 MHz licenses to T-Mobile in exchange for licenses in other parts of the wireless spectrum. Verizon said it plans to use T-Mobile's former licenses in the AWS and PCS bands to beef up its 4G LTE deployment in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta and Detroit, among other cities.
T-Mobile says it will have devices ready to take advantage of its new 700 MHz spectrum by the fourth quarter.