Report on T-Mobile-UScellular and Catch-22 in 800 MHz

The May 28th announcement of the acquisition of the UScellular operations by T-Mobile leads to an interesting discussion from a valuation perspective as well as musings on the potential Catch-22 impact on the sale (or not) of T-Mobile’s 800 MHz spectrum. 

LYA has conducted numerous valuations of spectrum licenses across the US for both larger and smaller markets. Based on our analyses, the proposed UScellular transaction with T-Mobile, per the information disclosed up to now, would yield a valuation in the range of our estimates for the different spectrum bands in smaller markets. 

It also leads us to assess that there is significant value remaining in the spectrum retained by UScellular (TDS) – close to 70% of its total MHz-pop in 10 different frequency bands – assuming that the proposed acquisition of UScellular is approved within the parameters presented in the May 28th announcement. 

But this new proposed transaction also raises interesting issues regarding the previously announced sale of 800 MHz spectrum by T-Mobile. And all of these taken together also bring us to discuss the agreement for the sale of 600 MHz licenses from Comcast to T- Mobile, as announced in 2023.

Please contact us to get a copy of our c-Ahead Report – May 2024 – on the implications of T-Mobile-UScellular and 800 MHz. Please include the Report title in the message, and we look forward to hearing from you.