Verizon, T-Mobile Sign Spectrum Deal, Partly Pending FCC Approval
T-Mobile, complicating its position on Verizon Wireless’ deal with cable companies, has agreed to buy some of the once-cable-owned spectrum from Verizon, as well as trade some spectrum to the benefit of both parties. The spectrum coming from Verizon’s controversial cable deal is awaiting FCC and DOJ approval.T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have entered into an agreement in which T-Mobile will purchase some Advanced Wireless Services spectrum from Verizon, and the pair will also exchange some AWS spectrum licenses, helping each to attain more contiguous blocks of spectrum and realign spectrum in adjacent markets, T-Mobile said in a June 25 statement. T-Mobile said the deal will improve its position in 15 of the top 25 markets and is an addition to the carriers already-announced plan to spend $4 billion to grow its 4G network and roll out Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology.
This is good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers, Philipp Humm, T-Mobile CEO and president, said in the statement. We anticipate FCC approval later this summer, in time for us to incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernization and the rollout of LTE services next year.
The cooperative arrangements between these companies encompass wired and wireless technologies, voice, video and data services: the full complement of 21st century electronic communications services and have the potential to touch each consumer and every government, business, health care, and educational institution in the United States.T-Mobile has also expressed concern about the deal, though more particularly about the Verizon stockpile of unused AWS spectrum that T-Mobile hopes to soon have its hands on. On April 19, Humm met with the chief of the FCCs Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Rick Kaplan, to discuss the spectrum, which has gone unused for six years, according to a letter to FCC from T-Mobile counsel Jean Kiddoo. While theres belief that Verizon is selling off some of its spectrum to reduce its overall portion in a gesture to encourage the FCC to approve its deal with the cable companies, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo, speaking at a JP Morgan conference May 16, said this isnt true. I think we have been very good stewards of our spectrum, Shammo told JP Morgans Phil Cusick. I think we have shown a history there, and we dont want to be looked at as hoarding spectrum for the industry. So it is the right thing to do, for us and for the rest of the industry. Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.