The operator said Wednesday that it will sell off A- and B-block spectrum licenses it won at auction in 2008 to willing buyers. The catch? It wants the feds to bless its proposed purchase of AWS bandwidth (2100MHz/1900MHz) from Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) and several cable companies. (See VZ Wireless to Sell Some 700MHz Spectrum.)
This may surprise some regular readers, as Verizon told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year that "skyrocketing" data demand could cause it to run short of spectrum for its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service in some markets by 2013, with many more "constrained" by 2015. (See Verizon Fears 4G Spectrum Shortfall .)
"We originally thought that the A- and B-blocks would be used for additional capacity for our upper C-block," explains Verizon spokeswoman Robin Nicol. The carrier has so far deployed its LTE service in part of the C-block of the 700MHz band.
Now, the operator believes that the AWS spectrum is "a better complement" to its existing 4G service. This is because Verizon already has AWS holdings in the Northeast and the new spectrum would be "a good match," Nicol notes. (See MSO Deal Not Verizon's Spectrum 'End Game' .)
"If, for some reason, the AWS acquisition is not approved we will need the A- and B-blocks," she adds.
The decision on the AWS licenses is expected to be made by mid-summer.
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