Verizon Will to Sell Some Unused 700 MHz to Smooth Over Spectrum Deal

Posted by at 11:01 am on April 18, 2012

Verizon Wireless today offered to sell some of its unused 700 MHz licenses to other carriers. The proposed sale is contingent on the completion of Verizon’s pending purchase of 1700 MHz (AWS band) licenses from SpectrumCo (which is partly owned by Comcast and Time Warner Cable), Cox and Bright House.

The SpectrumCo deal, in particular, has come under scrutiny from the Department of Justice and Senate, and is opposed by T-Mobile. Verizon’s move today is almost certainly intended to help ease antitrust concerns and improve the odds of the DoJ approving the SpectrumCo deal. The 700 MHz licenses Verizon is willing to sell are A- and B-block licenses in a scattered assortment of places, including large cities such as LA, Chicago, Miami, and many more, although each covers a relatively small geographic area.

Verizon’s current 4G LTE network is deployed in the 700 MHz upper-C block, which Verizon owns exclusively, nationwide. If Verizon is able to complete these pending deals, it plans to deploy 4G LTE in the AWS band. Verizon already owns AWS licenses covering the east half of the country; it needs the additional AWS licenses in order to cover the west half.

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