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Friday, December 02, 2011
Verizon Wireless To Buy Cable Spectrum For $3.6 Billion

SpectrumCo, LLC, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, today announced it has entered into an agreement pursuant to which Verizon Wireless will acquire its 122 Advanced Wireless Services spectrum licenses covering 259 million POPs for $3.6 billion.

Comcast owns 63.6% of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $2.3 billion from the sale. Time Warner Cable owns 31.2% of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $1.1 billion. Bright House Networks owns 5.3% of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $189 million.

The agreement comes at a time when consumer demand for wireless services and bandwidth is increasing rapidly. While U.S. government action to free more spectrum is expected, Verizon said that this transaction ensures that the spectrum which is already available for mobile services is used effectively for its consumers.

The companies also announced that they have entered into several agreements, providing for the sale of various products and services. Through these agreements, the cable companies, on the one hand, and Verizon Wireless, on the other, will become agents to sell one another's products and, over time, the cable companies will have the option of selling Verizon Wireless' service on a wholesale basis. Additionally, the cable companies and Verizon Wireless have formed an "innovation technology" joint venture for the development of technology to better integrate wireline and wireless products and services.

The deal comes as Verizon's biggest rival AT&T is facing regulatory opposition for its proposed plan to buy T-Mobile USA.

Both Verizon Wireless and AT&T, the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. mobile providers, are trying to improve their network capacity to support increased consumer demand for services such as mobile web browsing on devices like tablet computers.

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