AT&T T-MobileThe FCC this week approved AT&T’s transfer of AWS spectrum licenses to T-Mobile. AT&T originally agreed to provide the additional spectrum when it announced intentions to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. Now, T-Mobile is one step closer to deploying its own LTE network, which is scheduled for a 2013 launch.

“We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. “Securing this additional spectrum was a key catalyst for our plans to launch LTE in 2013 and is therefore good news for our customers.”

After months of widespread industry disapproval, AT&T announced late last year that it would no longer pursue a merger with T-Mobile. As severance, AT&T paid T-Mobile a $4 billion breakup fee — $3 billion in cash money, and $1 billion worth of spectrum.

This week’s ruling will provide T-Mobile with AWS mobile spectrum in 128 cellular market areas, including 12 of the top 20 markets: Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle.

[via T-Mobile]