Deal will require FCC approval
Verizon Wireless announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase new wireless spectrum from three different companies. The spectrum will come from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks (the three company make up a joint venture called SpectrumCo LLC). The total cost of buying up the spectrum will be $3.6 billion.
The deal will land Verizon 122 Advanced Wireless Services Spectrum licenses that cover 259 million people. Comcast owns the majority of SpectrumCo with 63.6% holdings and will take the biggest part of the money paid out by Verizon. Comcast will get $2.3 billion of the sale proceeds. Time Warner has 31.2% of SpectrumCo and will get $1.1 billion while Bright House Networks has 5.3% and will get $189 million.
Neil Smit, President of Comcast Cable, said, “These agreements, together with our Wi-Fi plans, enable us to execute a comprehensive, long-term wireless strategy and expand our focus on providing mobility to our Xfinity services. We’re excited about this partnership with Verizon Wireless and the future innovations we will bring to consumers.”
The deal is subject to approval by the FCC as well as other closing conditions.
Dan Mead, President and CEO of Verizon Wireless, said, “Americans deserve excellence from a wireless service provider, and innovative wireless companies plan ahead in order to deliver on that expectation. Spectrum is the raw material on which wireless networks are built, and buying the AWS spectrum now solidifies our network leadership into the future, and will enable us to bring even better 4G LTE products and services to our customers. American businesses and consumers can have confidence that the best wireless network has the foundational resources to deliver on that promise.”
AT&T will have to feel slighted if this deal makes it past regulators after it has fought so hard to get spectrum though purchasing T-Mobile. AT&T’s bid may fail and if so will owe T-Mobile billions in break up fees.