April 21, 2012, 7:18 AM — In an effort to save its spectrum deal with major cable companies, Verizon Wednesday said it would be willing to sell off several licenses for spectrum on the 700MHz band.
Verizon said that if the government approved its spectrum-purchasing agreement with the companies, it would sell off its licenses on the so-called "A" and "B" blocks on the 700MHz spectrum band. Verizon primarily uses 700MHz spectrum from the "C" block for its 4G LTE network and thus would not need to hold onto the A and B blocks if it succeeded in acquiring licenses for Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum currently held by several cable companies, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox.
Spectrum on the 700MHz band is currently the cream of the crop for LTE services in the United States as it has the lowest frequency and best propagation of any spectrum currently being used for commercial LTE offerings. Verizon originally won the rights to licenses on the A, B and C blocks through the FCC's 2008 spectrum auction of the 700MHz band.
"Since wireless operators ... have expressed concern about the availability of high-quality spectrum, we believe our 700MHz licenses will be attractive to a wide range of buyers," said Molly Feldman, Verizon's vice president of business development. "Provided our acquisition of AWS spectrum is approved, our open sale process will ensure these A and B spectrum licenses are quickly and fairly made available for the benefit of other carriers and their customers."