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AT&T Strikes $1.9B Spectrum Deal With Verizon

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

AT&T Inc. has splashed out $1.9 billion on Long Term Evolution (LTE)-ready spectrum from Verizon Communications Inc.

Verizon revealed Friday that it will:

  • Sell 39 lower 700MHz B Block licenses to AT&T in exchange for a payment of $1.9 billion, along with the transfer by AT&T to Verizon Wireless of AWS (10MHz) licenses in certain western markets, including Los Angeles and Fresno, Calif.; Phoenix; and Portland, Ore.

  • Sell lower 700MHz B Block licenses covering the Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham markets in North Carolina to Grain Management, a Sarasota, Fla.-based private equity firm that invests in the telecommunications sector, in exchange for a payment of $189 million.

In addition, Verizon Wireless will lease from Grain Management an AWS license covering Dallas, Texas, which Grain is acquiring from AT&T.

Why this matters
Verizon has been trying to sell spectrum it acquired at auction in the 700MHz A and B block since it struck an AWS spectrum swap deal with several major U.S. cable companies. The deal gives AT&T more bandwidth in the 700MHz spectrum it has been using for LTE. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Thursday that he likes AT&T's spectrum position for 2013, having upped the operator's average national spectrum position by a third.

For more

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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User Rank: Light Beer
1/31/2013 | 5:26:31 PM
re: AT&T Strikes $1.9B Spectrum Deal With Verizon
-áThey expect to have equipment ready that can support carrier aggregation late in 2013, I took that to mean deploying at least some of the release 10 LTE-advanced spec. Then that makes supporting AWS/700 possibly even WCS and refarmed 2G easier.
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/30/2013 | 2:12:33 PM
re: AT&T Strikes $1.9B Spectrum Deal With Verizon
Is the $1.9B worth giving AT&T an extra edge to catch up on LTE? I guess if they don't have plans to use it they can't sit on it, so it's better to have cash in the bank to upgrade the rest of the network?
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