FCC approves breakup fee between AT&T and T-Mobile

Opposition from the Justice Department and the FCC forced AT&T and T-Mobile to abandon their deal in December. The government was concerned that the merger of the second and fourth largest wireless carriers would stifle competition.

AT&T is already struggling to provide enough airwaves to meet consumer demand, and gaining access to T-Mobile's airwaves was one of its main reasons for trying to buy the company.

But the transfer will be a boost for T-Mobile, which is working to expand its network.

“We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses,” said Neville Ray, T-Mobile's chief technology officer. “Securing this additional spectrum was a key catalyst for our plans to launch LTE in 2013 and is therefore good news for our customers.”