Originally published: May 24, 2012
Last updated: May 24, 2012 - 3:07pm
Verizon Wireless has so far attracted interest from 36 potential buyers for its 700 MHz Lower A and B Block spectrum, according to the carrier. Verizon made the disclosure in a letter dated May 22 it sent to the FCC. The carrier said 36 entities have signed non-disclosure agreements over the proposed sale.
The disclosure was part of a larger accounting of the planned sale Verizon gave to the FCC following the commission's request for more information. Importantly, Verizon has said the sale of its Lower A and B Block spectrum is contingent on the carrier getting regulatory approval to buy more attractive nationwide AWS spectrum from cable companies. The FCC had asked Verizon to explain what steps it has taken to build out the 700 MHz spectrum, what difficulties exist in deploying that spectrum, why the 700 MHz sale is relevant to a review of the AWS spectrum purchases and what Verizon would do if the entirety of the AWS purchases were not approved. In its response, Verizon said that it has taken a number of steps to prepare to use its Lower And B Block spectrum, "including RF system design, site construction planning, and discussions with vendors. In all markets covered by these licenses, three phases of the initial RF system design have been completed: identifying cell sites for development, selecting configurations of antennas, and determining center height requirements for the antennas." Verizon said it has also "communicated with equipment vendors about procuring both devices and network equipment that will operate on" the spectrum. The nation's largest carrier also matter-of-factly stated what has been a general consensus among analysts since the proposed 700 MHz sale was announced: that AWS spectrum is better spectrum and is more complementary to Verizon's existing spectrum holdings.
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