Verizon acquires 4G spectrum in $3.6 billion deal

Verizon has agreed to acquire 122 advanced wireless spectrum (AWS) licences from SpectrumCO in a deal worth $3.6 billion. The licences cover a potential 259 million US end users.

Spectrum Co is a joint venture between three cablecos - Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Under the agreement each company will receive money equivalent to their ownership percentage.

Comcast, for its 63.6%, will receive approximately $2.3 billion, Time Warner Cable with 31.2% will get around $1.1 billion and Bright House Networks $189 million for its 5.3% ownership.

Verizon has also entered a number of agreements with the cable companies under which all parties will become agents to sell one another’s products. The cable companies have established a future option to sell Verizon Wireless’s services on a wholesale basis. A technology joint venture has also been announced for the development of improved wireline integration and wireless products and services.

Dan Mead, President and CEO of Verizon Wireless, said, "Spectrum is the raw material on which wireless networks are built, and buying the AWS spectrum now solidifies our network leadership into the future, and will enable us to bring even better 4G LTE products and services to our customers.”

The deal is subject to the approval by the Federal Communications Commission and review under the Hart-Scott Rodino Act.

In a separate move, Verizon Wireless and fellow cellco Leap Wireless have asked telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to exchange 4G spectrum. If approved, the deal would see Leap receive a 12MHz licence in the 700MHz spectrum band, covering Chicago.

Verizon paid $152 million for the licence in 2008. Leap said it will use the additional spectrum to launch LTE services. The deal would see Verizon acquire licences and concessions covering a number of locations across the country.

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