Ina Fried

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Verizon and T-Mobile to Swap Some Spectrum, if Cable Deal Goes Through

Verizon said on Monday that it has reached a deal to transfer spectrum with T-Mobile USA, provided regulators give the nod to its pending purchase of airwaves from a consortium of cable companies.

Both sides are exchanging spectrum, but more is headed in T-Mobile’s direction, and it is T-Mobile that will be sending cash to Verizon, though full financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal includes existing spectrum held by the two firms as well as some that Verizon Wireless has proposed getting from the cable companies. T-Mobile had been opposing that deal, though presumably it is now changing its tune.

T-Mobile said the new Verizon deal will help strengthen the LTE service that it hopes to begin offering next year. It said the deal will boost its position in 15 of the top 25 U.S. markets, including cities such as Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Seattle; Cleveland; Columbus; Milwaukee and Rochester, N.Y.

“This agreement will provide T-Mobile with critical AWS spectrum, enhancing both network capacity and performance and allowing us to meet the growing consumer demand for 4G mobile broadband,” T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm said in a statement. “This is good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers. We anticipate FCC approval later this summer, in time for us to incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernization and the rollout of LTE services next year.”

Verizon has also said it will sell some of its spectrum holdings in the 700MHz band if the cable deal is allowed to proceed.


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