Cox Sells Its Airspace to Verizon for $315 Million

Posted by at 12:27 pm on December 16, 2011

Cox on Friday joined other cable companies in selling spectrum to Verizon. The deal, worth $315 million, will give it licenses for 20MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) space in areas that cover about 28 million Americans. The two will echo earlier deals in letting each sell the other’s home and business services, and Cox would have the option of selling cellphone service at wholesale prices.

The cable network would still have its own 700MHz access, and it would still have its existing Sprint-based service until March. It would be making deals with the cable company joint venture that had already handed over frequencies, including Bright House, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable.

Verizon has been making the grab for the airwaves, usually in the 1,700MHz band, to bolster the capacity of its LTE network for future smartphones, modems, and tablets. Using the higher frequency will give the carrier the option of roaming in Canada and possibly on AT&T’s network as well.

The continued spectrum sales raise questions about AT&T’s insistence that it needs to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion to get enough access to the 1,700MHz band. With cable companies being willing to sell their own space, they could potentially have filled out some of AT&T’s coverage at a lower price and without competitive concerns.

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