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ATLANTA-Locally based Cingular Wirelesss is expanding its coverage area to Utah in Salt Lake City and Provo. The company is buying 15MHz of spectrum (wavelength) in each market from Leap Wireless International Inc. of San Diego in a deal valued at $140 million.

The deal still has to be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Cingular didn’t indicate in a prepared statement what size offices it might be leasing in the two cities to service the customer base.

Entering the two Utah cities adds two million potential customers to Cingular’s service base. Salt Lake City is the 34th largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of 1.6 million. Cingular will operate an all-digital GSM network in these markets that will support next-generation wireless data services, according to the company’s statement. GSM also powers Cingular networks in California, Nevada, Washington, North and South Carolina, coastal Georgia and eastern Tennessee.

“This purchase broadens our reach into the West and furthers our goal of being in all of the top 50 markets in the United States,” Stephen Carter, Cingular’s president/CEO, says in a prepared statement. “This always-on service will provide consumers in Salt Lake City with faster access to the wireless Internet.”

Carter says Cingular Wireless Internet Express is powered by GPRS, the next generation of always-on packet data.

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