Two billion dollars is a whole lotta clams. It's also a price ($1.9 billion to be exact) that AT&T was willing to throw down to purchase a chunk of unused wireless bandwidth from Verizon covering 18 states, mostly across the west and midwest. The additional bandwidth will be used for AT&T's 4G LTE service and will be "substantially complete" by summer 2014.
AT&T announced it had acquired the 39 licenses for Verizon's 700MHz B block spectrum and will use it to deliver coverage to 42 million consumers in Colorado, California, Idaho, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
Aside from the cash infusion, Verizon received spectrum from AT&T covering the Los Angeles, Fresno, Phoenix, and Portland metro areas. The deal was part of Verizon's promise to regulators to make the unused block available, so that it could acquire more spectrum from cable providers. A smaller chunk of the 700MHz B block was sold to Florida-based private equity firm, Grain Management.