Leap completes spectrum exchange with Verizon

Leap completes spectrum exchange with Verizon

US mobile operator Leap Wireless has completed its spectrum exchange with Verizon Wireless in which it sold its excess PCS and AWS spectrum in various markets to acquire 12MHz of 700MHz A block spectrum in Chicago.

Once interference issues are resolved the additional 700MHz spectrum will supplement the 10MHz of spectrum Leap owns and operates in the Chicago area.

Verizon also acquired AWS spectrum in various markets from Leap’s majority owned venture Savary Island Wireless.

"These transactions generated net cash proceeds of more than $120 million that we plan to use to support our ongoing deployment of next-generation LTE network technology," said Doug Hutcheson, president and CEO of Leap Wireless. "We expect to offer LTE services to at least two-thirds of our current network footprint over the next two to three years."

Recently Verizon has been selling off its lower frequency 700MHz frequency spectrum, while acquiring AWS spectrum to complement its coverage in existing markets.

The sales have partly been driven by the need to receive approval for Verizon’s $3.6 billion transaction with the SpectrumCo consortium for AWS spectrum.

Analysts believe the sale of its lower band 700MHz spectrum is no loss to the carrier because of interference issues, and it is speculated that Verizon already possesses enough spectrum without it to cover the majority of the US

Leap said that the sale of spectrum would not impact its operations in existing markets.

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