Verizon Grabs Comcast, TWC, Bright House Spectrum to Grow 4G LTE Service

Posted by at 9:45 am on December 2, 2011

Verizon on Friday sought more bandwidth by buying Advanced WirelessSpectrum (AWS) licenses from cable companies. The $3.6 billion purchase will see it get 122 licenses for the often 1,700MHz or 2,100MHz bands from SpectrumCo, a team-up between Bright House, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable​. Each company gets a sum directly relevant to its stake, at $2.3 billion for Comcast, $1.1 billion for Time Warner Cable, and $189 million for Bright House.

The CEO for Verizon, Dan Mead, made clear that the acquisition was meant to bolster its LTE-based 4G network. It would lead to “even better” devices and networks by adding more capacity, he said, maintaining the claim that there was a “current spectrum shortage” and that it would give a lift to capacity before the FCC freed up more space on its own.

No schedule was given for the deal, which hinges on getting FCC approval and passing muster under the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust act.

Its acquisition is significant as it suggests Verizon is acting on plans to allow for world roaming. LTE in Canada and eventually in Europe is likely to be based on AWS bands and would need similar support from Verizon phones to roam. They currently run only on the 700MHz band, which is limited largely to the US.

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