The Federal Communications Commission approved AT&T's deal with T-Mobile on Tuesday -- but not the one AT&T had been hoping for.
The FCC gave AT&T permission to give T-Mobile USA a swath of spectrum rights as part of a breakup deal after the FCC and Justice Department shot down AT&T's bid to buy T-Mobile.
After AT&T abandoned the merger in December, it agreed to pay T-Mobile and its parent company Deutsche Telekom $3 billion plus spectrum rights worth $1 billion.
T-Mobile says it will use the spectrum as part of a $4 billion plan to modernize and upgrade its network.
"We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses," T-Mobile's Neville Ray said in statement. "Securing this additional spectrum was a key catalyst for our plans to launch LTE in 2013 and is therefore good news for our customers."