& cplSiteName &

Verizon Buys Cincinnati Bell's Spectrum for $210M

Sarah Thomas
4/7/2014
50%
50%

Verizon Wireless will acquire all of the wireless spectrum licenses currently held by Cincinnati Bell in a deal worth around $210 million that will see the regional operator exit the wireless business.

The carriers announced the transaction on Monday, noting that Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE: CBB) will sell all its rights, titles, and interest in its wireless spectrum licenses for $194 million in cash, and Verizon Wireless will take over certain tower lease obligations.

The regional operator has been selling wireless service in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky for the past 16 years, but declining revenues and subscriber losses caused it to put the wireless segment under review last year. Once it divests its spectrum, it instead plans to focus on its Fioptics line of broadband and voice services.

Cincinnati Bell will continue to serve its 340,000 mobile customers for the eight to 12 months it takes to close the deal, and CEO Ted Torbeck said in a statement that those customers don't need to take action at this time. The carriers expect the deal to close in the second half of this year, after which Cincinnati Bell will lease back the sold spectrum as it winds down its wireless network operations.

Why this matters
Light Reading predicted that the smaller operators would become spectrum snacks for the big four last year, following AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s acquisition of Leap Wireless, as deals like this are really the only way the major players can bolster their spectrum position in the US.

In addition, it is becoming increasingly hard for the smaller players to compete against the big four, so an acquisition with a pretty decent price tag is a good exit option for the likes of Cincinnati Bell. (See Smaller US Operators to Become Spectrum Snacks?)

Related posts:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/7/2014 | 6:27:34 PM
Re: Sprint's rural alternative
I couldn't agree more--and it will continue.  But, what is gratifying to see is some of the more "creative" players out there that would continue to partner w/the major players--the one that comes to my mind (and I have their hotspot is FreedomPop). 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/7/2014 | 6:25:23 PM
Re: Sprint's rural alternative
Yeah I can understand that viewpoint, but I think it's about scale. Verizon is just acquiring spectrum, not a big swatch of customers. Cincinnati Bell is the 9th largest operator in the US, but it's still pretty small. And, it's customers don't have to move to Verizon, although i bet a lot of them will. May be an opportunitiy for its competitors to court those customers in Cincy Bell's regions.
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/7/2014 | 6:22:06 PM
Re: Sprint's rural alternative
This consolidation does not bode well for competition and choice.  That's the challenging part here--although it apperas that the FCC seems not to mind the extent of the consolidations and the decision it made to release additional spectrum.

 

 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/7/2014 | 1:04:31 PM
Re: Sprint's rural alternative
From what I heard it's HSPA+ network was faster than a lot of LTE option in its regions, but it still didn't have a path beyond that. Sprint could've potentially give them that, but this was a cleaner way out to focus on its landline business instead.

It did have a loyal customer base, but only in parts of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, which is probably why you were unaware.
danielcawrey
0%
100%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/7/2014 | 1:01:45 PM
Re: Sprint's rural alternative
It probably had to do with competing with Verizon. If there is one thing that Verizon has done well it has been its coverages, especially in LTE.

The VZ network is so good and dominating it probably was a disincentive for Cincinnati Bell to try to compete. And I didn't even know Cincinnati Bell had wireless services. 
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
4/7/2014 | 11:24:21 AM
Sprint's rural alternative
It's interesting that Cincy Bell found it too expensive to invest in LTE, which is a big reason they sold to Verizon. But, just last week Sprint announced its deal with the CCA to help, even pay for, LTE deployments amongst its rural customer base. Cincy Bell is a CCA member. Why do you think they didn't consider this option?
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.