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License Swap: AT&T Wireless, U.S. Cellular

AT&T Wireless and U.S. Cellular have signed a definitive agreement to swap wireless licenses and properties covering 15 states and more than 18 million people.

Under terms of the agreement AT&T Wireless would receive U.S. Cellular's wireless operations and assets in northern Florida and southern Georgia, including Tallahassee and Gainesville, Florida. The markets serve 141,000 customers and reach a population of more than 1.5 million people.

U.S. Cellular would acquire wireless licenses in 13 states in the Midwest and Northeast covering 16.6 million people and cash. The licenses are surplus to AT&T Wireless and will not have an effect on the company's customers or operations.

The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals and has been approved by the boards of both companies. Closing is expected in the second half of 2003.

The acquisition will expand AT&T Wireless' nationwide network to virtually all major cities and travel routes.