Wireless company AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) agreed to pay about $780 million to expand its reach across rural areas, the latest sign of telecom giants' jockeying for available spectrum as a means to expand existing networks.

The Dallas-based telecom giant is set to purchase the retail wireless operations of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. (Nasdaq: ATNI). The business is operated under the Alltel name by Atlantic’s subsidiary, Allied Wireless Communications Corp. The deal will give Alltel customers access to a 4G network.

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