By Max Clarke

Telecommunications giants AT&T announced yesterday that they had entered a ‘definitive agreement’ to acquire T Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash and stock transaction valued at $39 billion.

“This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO.

“It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE (long-term evolution) capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America’s high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth.”

With this transaction, AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans — including rural communities and small towns. This helps achieve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and President Obama’s goals to connect “every part of America to the digital age.” T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE.

The $39 billion purchase price will include a cash payment of $25 billion with the balance to be paid using AT&T common stock, subject to adjustment. AT&T has the right to increase the cash portion of the purchase price by up to $4.2 billion with a corresponding reduction in the stock component, so long as Deutsche Telekom receives at least a 5 percent equity ownership interest in AT&T.