The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Maureen Bozlinski
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
mbozlinksi@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Verizon to auction spectrum worth billions

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Peter Svensson
Associated Press
Published:
NEW YORK -- Verizon Wireless on Wednesday said it will auction a parcel of radio frequencies, which could be worth billions of dollars in an industry scrambling to offer consumers more cellular broadband.
The offer is contingent on Verizon getting government approval for three deals to buy spectrum from cable companies and Leap Wireless for a total of about $4 billion. Those deals were struck in November and December, but have met resistance from public-interest groups who say the cellphone company, already the nation's largest, doesn't need more spectrum and shouldn't be cozying up to competitors such as the cable companies.
Spectrum rights are the lifeblood of the wireless industry, since they're necessary to operate wireless networks. In recent years, growing demand for wireless data service has prompted cellphone companies to search for more spectrum, which would allow them to offer higher download speeds.
The spectrum Verizon proposes to auction has been called the "beachfront property" of the airwaves because it makes it easy to build a wireless broadband network with good coverage.
Verizon bought the rights to use the frequencies from the government for $4.4 billion in 2008. They were formerly used by UHF TV stations and cover areas like New York City, Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami.
Verizon is keeping a larger, nationwide swatch of spectrum it bought in the same auction. It's using that for its "4G LTE" network, which went live a year and a half ago.
Verizon spokeswoman Robin Nicol denied that the auction is designed to get regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department to approve the spectrum deals with the cable companies and Leap. If those transactions go through, Verizon doesn't need the licenses it plans to auction, she said.
"We wanted to put these licenses in the hands of other carriers who could use them, for the benefit of their customers," she said.
One of the companies that might be interested in the spectrum is No. 2 carrier AT&T Inc., which has been building its own LTE network in adjacent bands.
An AT&T spokesman said the company has no comment on Verizon's proposal.
Verizon Wireless is a joint venture controlled by Verizon Communications Inc., the New York-based phone company. Vodafone Group PLC, a British cellphone company, owns the 45 percent Verizon doesn't own.
Verizon shares fell 10 cents to $37.63 in midday trading. The company is set to report first-quarter results on Thursday morning.

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup