To placate regulators and rival carriers who have voiced concern with Verizon Wireless’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of advanced wireless service spectrum held by the SpectrumCo venture, Verizon said on Wednesday that it would sell its A- and B-block licenses in the 700 MHz band upon receiving regulatory approval of the SpectrumCo deal. The spectrum assets being offered for sale were acquired by Verizon in the FCC’s auction of 700 MHz band licenses in 2008. According to the company, the licenses in question, which cover dozens of major metropolitan areas as well as “a number of smaller and rural markets,” will not be used in the ongoing build out of Verizon’s fourthgeneration long term evolution wireless broadband network. Opponents of the SpectrumCo deal such as Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS fear that the transaction will put too much spectrum under the control of Verizon, which already ranks as the nation’s largest wireless carrier. Sources say that Verizon’s plan to sell some of its wireless licenses in exchange for approval of the SpectrumCo deal is intended to address these concerns while giving rival carriers an opportunity to snatch up valuable spectrum that can be used to satisfy exploding consumer demand for wireless broadband services. While predicting that the SpectrumCo purchase will receive FCC and Justice Department approval by mid-summer, Molly Feldman, the vice president of business development at Verizon, told reporters: “since wireless operators, large and small, have expressed concern about the availability of high-quality spectrum, we believe our 700 MHz licenses will be attractive to a wide range of buyers.”
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Verizon offers to sell 700 MHz spectrum in exchange for approval of SpectrumCo deal
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