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Verizon’s Spectrum Purchase Approved by FCC, Will Use to Beef Up Its LTE Network

Today, the FCC approved Verizon’s plan to acquire spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. Big Red will use the spectrum to help continue the rollout of their 4G LTE network across the country, something they plan to have completely by the end of next year. CEO Dan Mead said specifically that they will “work aggressively to ensure” that this previously unused spectrum is put to use to “quickly benefit customers.”

This approval also allows them to move forward with their sale of 700MHz lower A and B block spectrum licenses, something Mead claims will help “benefit” other carriers.

While this is all great news for Verizon customers, you have to wonder how companies like AT&T and Sprint are ever going to catch up. 


Company Committed to Using Spectrum for Continued Rollout of 4G LTE and High-Speed Data Services to Customers

 BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless today announced that with the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, the company will move forward with plans to acquire Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and from Cox Communications, as well as to complete transactions with Leap Wireless, Savary Island Wireless and T-Mobile.  Verizon Wireless will use the spectrum it is acquiring in these transactions in conjunction with its 700 MHz upper C band spectrum to deploy additional LTE capacity.

“This purchase represents a milestone in the industry and we appreciate the FCC’s diligent work to review and approve the transaction,” said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless.  “We will work aggressively to ensure that we put this previously unused spectrum to use quickly to benefit customers.”

The approval of these transactions also means Verizon Wireless can move forward with its previously announced plan to sell its 700 MHz lower A and B block spectrum licenses.  Mead added, “We expect a very robust sales process as more than 65 parties have requested and received information about the spectrum we are selling.  Selling the A and B licenses will allow this spectrum to be used to the benefit of other carriers and their customers.”

Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network is available today in over 370 markets covering nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population.  The higher-speed network is important as the company works to meet the increasing needs of customers who are using smartphones, tablets and more, to manage their lives and run their businesses.  The FCC estimates that the industry demand for mobile data by 2015 will be 25 to 50 times greater than it was in 2010 as customers move toward more data-intensive devices that allow them to video chat, stream live video, download movies or large work files and more, on smartphones and tablets.

Verizon Wireless remains committed to helping America lead the world in broadband infrastructure that will ultimately give consumers more choice, convenience and innovation.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 94.2 million retail customers, including 88.8 million retail postpaid customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 78,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library atwww.verizonwireless.com/multimedia

  • xizhu768


  • annon

    Does anyone know if they sell the spectrum they can start blocking tether apps again?

  • zUFC

    They have to do something. Ever since this LTE started my verizon service has been terrible!!! Even while on 3G. I have more dead spots now than ever before. Yesterday I wasn’t at work for my usuall routine. So I went to two places where the signal was very low. My battery died by 2:00p.m. I usually get till 7:00p.m. while at work. Something happened when they started LTE. I know VZ is still twenty times better than the rest but it is not as good as it once was. Hopefully it does go back to normal sometime soon. I never switch my phones to 4G because i can’t get through a day with battery life. And my old 3G only phones lasted much longet than they do now. (still were smart phones just not LTE ones). I wonder if feature phones notice this network problem also?

  • Part of this deal is to not move in FIOS anywhere Time Warner or Comcast is already present, monopoly, talk about shanked…..

    • Daniel Maginnis

      Dunno about that. I’m pretty sure there are more mobile phones per household than people that have dedicated internet lines at home. Eventually, there will be some people (single) that don’t even have net at home and exclusively use mobile data even at home.

  • amd718

    LTE is a multi-tier data network with different levels of speed and data transfer thresholds. It would make sense if this additional spectrum becomes available in 4 years. That would coincide with verizons plan of releasing LTE advanced, which makes 100mbps+ speeds a reality not just theoretical.

  • How does this affect the FCC telling Verizon that they can’t block tethering apps? From what I understood it was because they were using special C block spectrum. Now that they have A and B, can they start cracking down again?

  • hokiesteve

    As much as I dislike Verizon’s abusive position in the field, they did get there through well planned network investment and aquisition of competing carriers. That being said, this spectrum purchase is going to help consumers in general. Not only will it help Verizon deliver quality service, but it will bolster T-Mobile’s position with more AWS spectrum. This deal enables a common chunk of spectrum (AWS) allocated to LTE by at least three major carriers (AT&T, Verizon TMobile) as well as others such as MetroPCS. This will turn the AWS band into a defacto domestic and international roaming band for LTE in the US. It’s also likely to be a band favored for MVNOs until 800mhz and 1900 mhz is refarmed.

  • Seeing as how their network is on schedule to be completed by end of 2013, I can wait and continue to enjoy Tmo’s unlimited and pretty damn fast data. I work pretty much under a tower and I can just see a tower out my back window at home. I rarely have speeds at the two places I am most below 15mg down and 1.5mg up. Im not apposed to switching to verizon in the future once their LTE is complete and data speeds jump way up. Just for reference my co-worker has Verizon and his speed is usually half mine when he’s not pushed back to 3g. Some areas of the country are the exact opposite of my experience so don’t troll me please. As for the spectrum purchase, just a mammoth getting bigger.

    • CapnShiner

      I’m not sure what you are measuring but mg means milligrams, which a unit of measure for mass(weight). Internet speeds are measured in Kbps/Mbps/Gbps or Kilobits, megabits, and gigabits per second, which measures the rate of transfer for binary data.

      • Thanks Capnobvious, I meant Mbps……I was a little sleepy when I posted. I edited my post just for you. 🙂

        • CapnShiner

          I was just being a smartass.

  • George264

    Two things. Isn’t this AWS spectrum they bought? So that means no current phones get to use this right? Second, “Selling 700Mhz lower block A and B” to ****BENIFIT**** other carriers? No. They wouldn’t. Liars

  • Still waiting for the day when Droid Life’s front page reads “Google introduces new 5G Network that is linked with Google Fiber. 1Gb up, and down! Only $30 for unlimited data!”

    • I would send an check for the ETF to Verizon so fast!

    • CampyGuy

      I’d sign up for the Google Fiber/Apple Wireless broadband consortium to feed my needs. Google & Apple – just write the damned check already and you’d have subs lined up!

    • Where do I remit my wallet?

  • Tim

    How does this help us with current phones that only support 850/1900 CDMA and 700MHz LTE? It makes me wonder why Verizon didn’t put other LTE bands into their phones like AT&T does.

    • CapnShiner

      Some Verizon phones have global roaming capability, which requires more than 850/1900/700MHz. Perhaps some of them would be able to use it?

    • hokiesteve

      This is years away from build out so in all likelihood this is targeted for 2-4 years from now. By the time they deploy you’ll be in the market for a new device.

  • Pegleg

    BUILD MORE TOWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • It’s like VZ is playing an RTS where LTE towers are Pylons

      • I lol’d

      • Setzer83


        • someonewithnolife

          that made my day

  • sport

    It’s not good news. It means a already overly large company will get larger and raise fees and eliminate competition, which is NEVER a good thing. We’re headed for regulating these behemoth companies again…

  • frankandsimple

    will “work aggressively to ensure” that this previously unused spectrum is put to use to “quickly benefit customers.”””

    I think he forgot to add …”so you see.. the bump in fees is perfectly justified”

  • Higher speeds or more traffic? I would assume traffic

  • Dirk Wangston

    Does this mean VZW will bring back unlimited data plans? Highly unlikely I know, but seeing how Tmo is, why can’t they?

    • They could, if…and only if…competition from Tmo or Sprint gave them incentive to do so. Or if AT&T decided to switch back to unlimited to woo customers from Verizon.

      As long as people keep signing up with Big Red, they will keep charging whatever the market will bear.

      • Drew

        This. Verizon would never think of going back to unlimited unless they started seeing major customer switches to AT&T, Spring or T-Mobile.

      • CapnShiner

        I don’t think AT&T could do it. Their network couldn’t handle it. They can’t even handle Facetime traffic. Verizon’s network might be able to support it but they won’t do it as long as people will pay for tiered data plans. Don’t forget that Sprint and all the MVNO’s that use Sprint’s network offer unlimited data and you don’t see people leaving Verizon for them in droves. T-Mobile might be a little more tempting, but we’ll see. Overall, I think Verizon earned its spot at the top and JD Power has provided evidence to support that claim. As long as they continue to have the best network quality, people will stay with Verizon as long as they can afford to, unlimited data or not. Until that changes, Verizon has no incentive to offer unlimited data again.

  • Me

    I am perfectly happy with AT&T after switching from Verizon. Less $ and faster data.

    • faster data? i call bs. maybe just in your area but not overall.

      • Depends on area, before we had 4g in this town 3g was slow and had been for a long time. Of course in every other city around it was normal speed.

      • Verizon’s LTE is impressive, but their CDMA network is abysmal. If you’re in a large building or otherwise can’t get their LTE signal, HSPA+ is simply better. Besides, I get 10-15mbps with T-mobile’s $30/mo plan. LTE may be a tad faster, but I’m not paying four times as much to have it. This is fast enough for a phone. I will download torrents on my home connection..

  • Chris Malkiewicz

    Didn’t you see any of the AT&T commercials? They have 2,000 more cities with 4G than Verizon :p

    • Its been years since I’ve seen a AT&T commercial that wasn’t full of lies.

      • CapnShiner


    • feztheforeigner

      I really don’t get how ATT gets away with that…

      You would think their false advertising would be classified as…well…false advertising and be banned…

      • Justin

        Technically its true, it is their initial 4G,, but its not 4G LTE. Verizon is kicking everyone’s ass in that department.

        • Chris Malkiewicz

          I think it’s like HSPA+ or something like that. Wife has an iPhone and was all jacked when she saw “4G” pop up on her phone… I laughed

        • 555forever

          Verizon/At&t does not have the network spectrum capacity to offer free unlimited data plans.Wait for Sprint/Clearwire/Softbank/Huawei…

  • Knlegend1

    Wish I knew what this meant. Wish I cared enough to read up on it.

  • famouzstarz

    well theres another $10 added on to our bill 🙁