Verizon is looking to move some it’s A-block spectrum. We’ve been hearing rumors about it for a few weeks. AT&T and T-Mobile are both raising funds to purchase some or all of it. The available spectrum is a highly prized commodity. T-Mobile has apparently scrounged up more than $3 billion to spend on these A-block airwaves, or any others that they can find. Verizon won’t be willing to let go of any spectrum unless the price is really good, though. Big Red wants an offer that is “fair,” and any of this 700 MHz spectrum would come at a hefty price. Verizon is also willing to use the spectrum for their own purposes if it comes down to it, but they would rather sell it to someone.
New information coming from Bloomberg says that Verizon is also willing to swap spectrum with someone else. Spectrum trades have happened before between telecommunications companies. Sometimes deals are signed that involve both cash and spectrum swaps. Anytime that unused spectrum can potentially be put to use by any wireless company, they tend to jump on it quickly. Unused, unoccupied airwaves are increasingly rare in today’s mobile landscape.
Verizon isn’t set on just selling the available 700 MHz A-block airwaves that they currently own. Verizon Communications CEO, Lowell McAdam, has said that the company would be willing to trade for other spectrum that they could use immediately. T-Mobile is sitting on $3 billion that it could use to purchase the spectrum, but if they could work out a trade with Big Red, that cash could be put to a different use. AT&T‘s CEO, Randall Stephenson, has declined to comment on the matter, stating simply that the 700 MHz airwaves that Verizon has available suffers from broadcast interference from television signals. Stephenson says that the spectrum needs to be cleaned up in order to make it more attractive to potential buyers.
However this deal plays out and whichever company ends up with Verizon’s available spectrum, it will probably happen quickly. Open, available airwaves are too valuable a commodity to just be sitting empty for too long.