Here’s another regional carrier that’s been gobbled up by a bigger carrier. This morning, Verizon Wireless and Cincinnati Bell have announced that they have made a deal to sell their spectrum holdings and wireless infrastructure to the largest national carrier, Verizon Wireless. The deal will see Cincinnati Bell’s 340,000 customers transferred over to Verizon Wireless or another carrier within the next 8-12 months. Which the carrier will the lease back the spectrum and those towers for a “nominal fee”. Cincinnati Bell is the ninth largest carrier in the country, and the fourth largest regional carrier with just 340,000 subscribers. Cincinnati Bell is really popular in the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana area – which probably explains why there are only 340,000 subscribers. Cincinnati Bell has had trouble trying to compete with the larger carriers like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile simply because they don’t have the customers and the revenue to upgrade their network to LTE. So they decided to improve their HSPA+ network – similar to what T-Mobile had done for the past few years. Which many say Cincinnati Bell’s HSPA+ network is better than most LTE networks in that area.
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Verizon has been spending a lot lately for their network. In addition to the $210 million spent on the deal with Cincinnati Bell today, they have also spent $130 billion to buy Vodafone’s stake back, and $3.6 billion to buy spectrum from the cable guys like Comcast, Time Warner, Bright House and others. Verizon’s not playing any games here, and they are serious about remaining #1 in terms of their network in the US. While we may not agree with their business practices, or how they price their plans. Their network is definitely one of the best out there.
We also still have the spectrum auction coming up soon which will auction off some even lower spectrum, which it’s pretty likely that AT&T or Verizon will pick that up since they both have a whole lot more money to throw around compared to the smaller guys, Sprint and T-Mobile.