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Early Bird Gets the Worm: Verizon Buys Wireless Spectrum


Dec 5th 2011 at 06:25am by Joseph Sugabo

Joseph Sugabo

Joseph Sugabo is a freelance writer and tech enthusiast

Americans deserve excellence from a wireless service provider, and innovative wireless companies plan ahead in order to deliver on that expectation. Spectrum is the raw material on which wireless networks are built, and buying the AWS spectrum now solidifies our network leadership into the future, and will enable us to bring even better 4G LTE products and services to our customers.


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American businesses and consumers can have confidence that the best wireless network has the foundational resources to deliver on that promise” (Dan Mead, President and CEO, Verizon). Verizon announced that they will be purchasing wireless spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo. SpectrumCo, LLC is a joint venture by the cable networks, Comcast, Time Warner, and Bright House. The deal states that Verizon will be purchasing all 122 Advanced Wireless Services spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, which covers 259 million POP’s. The Licenses will cost Verizon $3.6 billion. The breakdown of who gets what in SpectrumCo is as follows: “Comcast owns 63.6% of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $2.3 billion from the sale. Time Warner Cable owns 31.2% of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $1.1 billion. Bright House Networks owns 5.3% of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $189 million” (Verizon Wireless).


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Verizon states that if the deal were to go through it would allow them to better cater to the needs of consumers in a world where wireless services and bandwidth is in extremely high demand. Verizon states that the extra spectrum would mean that they would not be thwarted by the current spectrum shortage and will allow Verizon to continue operating until more spectrum is freed up by the government. On top of the extra spectrum though, Verizon and the cable companies which make up SpectrumCo will be able to sell each other’s products and services, “The companies also announced that they have entered into several agreements, providing for the sale of various products and services. Through these agreements, the cable companies, on the one hand, and Verizon Wireless, on the other, will become agents to sell one another’s products and, over time, the cable companies will have the option of selling Verizon Wireless’ service on a wholesale basis. Additionally, the cable companies and Verizon Wireless have formed an innovation technology joint venture for the development of technology to better integrate wireline and wireless products and services” (Verizon Wireless)


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According to Verizon though, “SpectrumCo’s sale and transfer of its advanced wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and review under the Hart-Scott Rodino Act and other customary conditions.” Will the FCC approve this deal, or is a bit too much like T-Mobile’s?


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