According to people familiar with the matter, Verizon has outbid AT&T by $1.5 billion to buy Straight Path, a company that owns high-frequency radio waves.

With US carriers announcing “5G technology” left and right, it looks like the war for 5G wireless spectrum has officially begun. Although what companies like AT&T offer at the moment isn’t true 5G, much like marketing WiMax or HSPA+ as 4G, 5th generation mobile networks are closer than we think to becoming reality.

Many experts predict that high-frequency radio waves will play a crucial role in providing stable infrastructure for 5G technology, and that’s why everyone is after Straight Path Communications.

Many experts predict that high-frequency radio waves will play a crucial role in providing stable infrastructure for 5G technology, and that’s why everyone is after Straight Path Communications. The Virginia-based bandwidth licenses company owns many wireless frequencies in the 39 GHz band, something that could be extremely useful in 5G network developments.

AT&T previously announced that it would be acquiring Straight Path for a whopping $1.6 billion, but the news apparently set off a bidding war between AT&T and an unnamed multi-billion telecommunications company, which anonymous sources say is Verizon Wireless. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has allegedly offered $3.1 billion, which AT&T declined to match.

If the information is indeed correct, Verizon could soon hold important high-frequency radio waves that will presumably be used for its 5G network. Straight Path started acquiring wireless spectrum more than 15 years ago, and for a company that was worth “only” $400 million just two months ago, $3.1 billion isn’t too bad, wouldn’t you agree?

Whether it’s AT&T or Verizon who ends up buying Straight Path, the competition between US carriers to be the first to deploy 5G is set to be fierce. T-Mobile already has a portfolio of high-frequency radio waves which it inherited from the MetroPCS acquisition, and with its plans to roll out nationwide 5G mobile services by 2020, the battle for the best 5G network is only going to rage on.

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