AT&T signed an agreement with Bank of America for a $14.7 billion loan, adding to its pile of debt to fuel the purchase of new spectrum.

The operator stated the loan would be used for general corporate purposes, including the acquisition of spectrum.

It agreed the loan at the same time as a record-breaking US auction of C-Band (3.7GHz to 4.2GHz) spectrum entered its final stage, though AT&T is yet to confirm if this is the target of the loan.

Analysts at financial company Raymond James previously predicted AT&T would emerge as the second-highest spender in the sale, estimating its outlay at $20 billion compared with a predicted $30 billion by Verizon and $11 billion from T-Mobile US.

AT&T ended 2020 with $9.7 billion in cash assets, $153.8 billion in long-term debt and $3.5 billion in debt due to mature within one year.

The Bank of America loan must be accessed by 29 May and repaid within a year of the date of doing so.

Last month, T-Mobile raised $3 billion from a bond offering, which it said would be used to buy more spectrum and refinance existing debt.