AT&T buys high-speed bandwidth from rival Verizon

US telecom titan AT&T on Friday said it is paying $1.9 billion to rival Verizon for a chunk of radio wave spectrum that can be used to stream data and calls to or from wireless gadgets.

Verizon is under pressure to appease regulators' concerns about the potential for a stifling of competition in the wireless and cable services arena.

AT&T said that the portion of spectrum it is buying from Verizon covers 42 million people in an array of US states including California, New York, Texas, and Florida.

As part of the deal, AT&T will give Verizon rights to use its spectrum in several cities including Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Portland.

The acquisition "will allow AT&T to continue to quickly deploy 4G LTE services to meet demand for mobile Internet" on smartphones, tablets, and other devices, the company said in a release.

Demand for high-speed fourth-generation, or 4G, wireless network connections has been booming as people increasingly video and other data-rich content to smartphones and tablet computers.

The deal is subject to approval by regulators.

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