Verizon Wireless is making good on its promise to the FCC to return its extraneous 700 MHz to the market, and the principle buyer turns out to be the country’s other mega-carrier, AT&T. Verizon will give AT&T 39 lower-700 MHz licenses in some of the country’s biggest cities in exchange for $1.9 billion in cash and four licenses in an alternate 4G band.
A huge amount of spectrum is set to change hands as the result of several transactions announced today involving Verizon Wireless, AT&T and a relatively unfamiliar name in the wireless industry – Grain Management, a Sarasota, Fla.-based private equity firm.
As of Friday, dozens of companies, individuals, associations, government bodies and public-safety groups had filed more than 70 sets of comments with the National Telecommunications Information Administration regarding plans to build an LTE-based, public-safety broadband network in the 700 MHz spectrum band.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CFO Fran Shammo gave some insight into those plans at the Wells Fargo & Co. conference Thursday. “We have to let this process play out and I think it will play out by the first quarter,” said Shammo.
“The auction is still ongoing and there we have some what I would call very serious discussions ongoing,” he told the financial crowd. Shammo reiterated that the operator doesn’t consider this spectrum a “bargain” buy and wants a “serious” price for the bandwidth.
Verizon Wireless says refarming its PCS spectrum won’t give it the capacity it needs to handle rising traffic on its LTE network, its latest argument to bolster the case for its purchase of nationwide AWS spectrum licenses from four cable operators.
Verizon is working to convince the FCC to approve the transaction.
Trying to figure out how the industry ended up with an incompatible 700 MHz band is a little like trying to untangle the cords in your junk drawer. The more you pull it apart, the more snarls you see, and you’re left wondering, “How did we end up with this mess?”
That’s exactly what I’ve been wondering over the past few days as I’ve delved into the interoperability issue.
AT&T came to the rescue of the proposed Band Class 17 proposal that would see a 3GPP standard for LTE interoperability across the lower 700 MHz band exclude the A-Band that is mired in potential interference issues.
via AT&T counters claims against Band Class 17; FCC awash in comments | | Mobile Technology | Wireless Broadband | Wireless Carriers | RCR U.S. Wireless NewsMobile Technology | Wireless Broadband | Wireless Carriers | RCR U.S. Wireless News.