Verizon Wireless said it would sell prime airwaves if regulators approve its planned purchases of new spectrum that come from large cable companies.
Verizon announced plans to conduct an open sale process for all of its 700 MHz A and B spectrum licenses. The licenses cover dozens of major cities across the U.S., as well as a number of smaller and rural markets.
Verizon obtained the 700 MHz A and B licenses, as well as nationwide 700 MHz upper C licenses in FCC Auction 73 in 2008. The company is deploying its 4G LTE network on its nationwide 700 MHz upper C spectrum. Verizon says that if it was successful in acquiring additional AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum licenses, it would use AWS spectrum in conjunction with its 700 MHz upper C band spectrum to deploy additional LTE capacity.
Accordingly, the sale of the A and B licenses is contingent on the close of Verizon Wireless? pending purchases of AWS licenses from SpectrumCo (an entity jointly owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks), Cox and Leap Wireless. These transactions are at varying stages of review by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and are expected to close by mid-summer.
Verizon says that the auction is not designed to get FTC and DOJ regulators to approve the spectrum deals with the cable companies and Leap.
"Since wireless operators, large and small, have expressed concern about the availability of high-quality spectrum, we believe our 700 MHz licenses will be attractive to a wide range of buyers," said Molly Feldman, vice president of Business Development for Verizon Wireless. "Moreover, provided our acquisition of AWS spectrum is approved, our open sale process will ensure these A and B spectrum licenses are quickly and fairly made available for the benefit of other carriers and their customers."