Verizon Wireless to Sell 700 MHz A and B Spectrum if AWS Buy Approved (4/18/12)
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 | Comments

Verizon Wireless announced plans to conduct an open sale process for all of its 700 MHz A and B spectrum licenses to “rationalize” its spectrum holdings. The licenses cover dozens of major cities across the country, as well as a number of smaller and rural markets.

Verizon Wireless obtained the 700 MHz A and B licenses, as well as nationwide 700 MHz upper C licenses, in FCC Auction 73 in 2008. Verizon Wireless is deploying its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which currently covers more than 200 million people, on its nationwide 700 MHz upper C spectrum. If Verizon Wireless is successful in acquiring additional Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses, it will 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, Cox and Leap Wireless. The transactions are at varying stages of review by the FCC and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and are expected to close by mid-summer.

"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."

The company will begin soliciting interest from potential buyers to ensure the process can move forward quickly once the AWS license transfers have been completed. Stephens, an independent financial services firm in Little Rock, Ark., has been engaged to manage the offering process.

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