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Wireless carrier Sprint has agreed to acquire Midwestern spectrum and 585,000 customers from U.S. Cellular in a deal worth $480 million.

Under the agreement, Sprint will acquire “20 MHz of PCS spectrum in the 1900 MHz band in various Midwest markets.” This spectrum will help Sprint build out its 4G LTE network, which is far behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T’s comparable networks. U.S. cellular customers in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio will move over to Sprint.

“This transaction will enable us to strengthen our business and become a more robust competitor,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (pictured) said in a statement. “Acquiring this spectrum will significantly increase Sprint’s network capacity and improve the customer experience in several important Midwest markets including Chicago and St. Louis. We welcome the new customers in these markets and look forward to providing them with Sprint’s unique combination of unlimited plans, an iconic device portfolio, and unmatched customer service.”

The move comes only a few weeks after Japan’s Softbank acquired 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion.

Dan Hesse photo: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

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