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AT&T and T-Mobile may vie for Verizon 700MHz spectrum

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday December 05, 2013.

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Verizon plans to sell blocks of spectrum it currently holds. The airwaves are likely to have two potential suitors, AT&T and T-Mobile, according to a report quoted by the Wall Street Journal. One of those carriers may a better shot at acquiring the spectrum.

Verizon will sell licenses in the "A-block" of 700 MHz airwaves, which are useful to networks because they increase signal strength indoors and over long distances. Verizon promised to sell some spectrum holdings last year because the A block was not crucial to its needs; any potential buyer would pay $2.7 billion to acquire the spectrum.

AT&T would seem a sensible buyer because it has spectrum licenses at frequencies adjacent to Verizon's A-block licenses. However, AT&T may have a tough time getting government approval because it has been stockpiling licenses through acquisitions to improve its network, and government regulators have been wary of letting the leading carriers control most of the nation's spectrum. AT&T and Verizon own 75 percent of low-band spectrum, so regulators might be more in favor of T-Mobile purchasing the spectrum.

T-Mobile recently took on debt to stockpile cash and acquire spectrum to improve its network, so the carrier should be able to meet Verizon's asking price. Neither T-Mobile nor AT&T has publicly said that they will seek to buy Verizon's A-block licenses.

source: Wall Street Journal

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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