Could Sprint Nextel Corp. be the next operator to sell AT&T Inc. WCS spectrum?
UBS AG analyst John Hodulik suggests that Sprint could make around $130 million selling off its remaining WCS licenses to AT&T. Ma Bell filed to buy WCS licenses in the 2.3GHz band from Comcast Corp., Horizon Wi-Com and NextWave Wireless Inc. Thursday.
"The main holder of the remaining A & B WCS licenses is Sprint Nextel, with an average of 1MHz of coverage in the top 100 markets (2MHz nationwide)," the analyst writes in a research report Thursday. "Using a valuation of $0.22 MHz/POP estimate for the NextWave deal, we estimate Sprint could garner ~$130M in proceeds were it to sell its WCS licenses."
Hodulik states that AT&T could be going after a ubiquitous 10x10MHz spectrum channel for LTE in the 2.3GHz band with this slew of WCS deals. AT&T expects to deploy on WCS within three years and reach 40 percent of its footprint within four years.
Why this matters
A WCS deal could give Sprint much needed extra-cash for its own "Network Vision" 3G and 4G overhaul. Much around the WCS deals though still hangs on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); it hasn't approved the spectrum for 4G services.
â€” Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile