The United States third largest cellular service provider, Sprint, just got a tad bigger. Using a $3.1 billion dollar cash influx from it's new Japanese partner Softbank, Sprint spent $480 million of that deal in it's purchase of US Cellular's spectrum.
Acquiring US Cellular's spectrum also means that Sprint has purchased US Cellular's subscribers which estimate to about 585,000 users. All aspects of this deal are subject to regulatory approval which should happen by mid-2013.
Besides bandwidth and subscribers, the new deal boosts Sprint's roll out of it's LTE service which has been slow to emerge. This should make Sprint more competitive with AT&T and Verizon in the 4G battlefield.