Originally published: April 23, 2012
Last updated: April 24, 2012 - 7:25am
[Commentary] Verizon has clearly studied everything AT&T did wrong last year when it tried to acquire T-Mobile. That includes staying alert for early signs of trouble and taking preemptive moves to keep the course of approval running smoothly. It also includes showing grace under fire rather than trying to browbeat the Federal Communications Commission into submission.
To head off concerns about the growing “spectrum gap” between Verizon (and AT&T) and its competitors, Verizon has offered to sell its Lower 700 MHz A&B block licenses in a private auction if the FCC grants the application to transfer the AWS-1 spectrum to it from SpectrumCo. At the same time, Verizon also insists that it is doing this of its own free will and not because the FCC is making it do so or because it has run into any trouble. As I will explain, I believe Verizon is telling the truth. The 700 MHz A&B block licenses Verizon promises to auction to competitors is not nearly as useful to it as the AWS-1 spectrum it will get from SpectrumCo and Cox. Given that everyone has extolled the virtues of the 700 MHz spectrum as the most important, game changing super-duper useful for mobile broadband spectrum in the entire universe, and since the licenses in question do cover some major markets, that no doubt comes as a surprise to many. Indeed, rather like the stereotypical used car salesman offering to swap your beat up lemon for his hardly ever driven luxury cream puff, this offer looks too good to be true.
Why would Verizon want to swap Magic Elixir 700 MHz spectrum for Totally Awesome But Not Magic AWS-1 spectrum?
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- FCC Creates Docket for Verizon/Cable Spectrum Deal
- Spectrum - Crunching the Numbers
- T-Mobile fires back at Verizon on spectrum deal
- Critics Get Their Say on Verizon/Cable Spectrum Sale
- Pleading Cycle for Verizon Wireless Spectrum Transactions
- SpectrumCo Asks FCC to Transfer Spectrum Licenses to Verizon
- Spectrum Deal Helps Dish Shares
- T-Mobile drops opposition to Verizon-cable deal
- FCC Consolidates Verizon Spectrum Deals Reviews