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Verizon, T-Mobile File for an AWS, PCS Spectrum Swap

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 2:37pm
Ben Munson

Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile are looking to trade some AWS and PCS spectrum licenses with each other.

No financial details are mentioned in the filing and the swap is only for spectrum and doesn’t entail exchanges of customers or network operations.

Both Verizon and T-Mobile insist that the spectrum swap will allow both to operate more efficiently by providing each with bigger blocks of contiguous or adjacent spectrum.

In an FCC filing, the two carriers detail the extent of the swap.

In the case of the intra-market exchanges of equal amounts of PCS spectrum, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile would exchange 5 to 20 megahertz of PCS spectrum in 153 counties across 47 CMAs. In addition, in 11 counties across 3 CMAs in Texas, Verizon Wireless would assign 20 megahertz of PCS spectrum to T-Mobile, and would receive 10 megahertz of PCS spectrum in return. Finally, Verizon Wireless would assign 5 to 10 megahertz of PCS spectrum to T-Mobile in an additional 34 counties across 13 CMAs.

In the case of the intra-market exchanges of equal amounts of AWS-1 spectrum, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile would exchange 10 to 20 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum in 285 counties across 59 CMAs. In addition, in CMA228 (Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, NJ), T-Mobile would assign 10 megahertz and would receive 20 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum, while in CMA73 (Oxnard-Simi Valley-Ventura, CA) and CMA135 (Eugene-Springfield, OR) T-Mobile would assign 40 megahertz, and would receive 30 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum. Further, Verizon Wireless would assign 10 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum to T-Mobile in 16 counties across four CMAs, and post transaction, T-Mobile would hold 30 to 40 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum. Finally, T-Mobile would assign 10 to 20 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum to Verizon Wireless in 26 counties across nine CMAs, and post-transaction, Verizon Wireless would hold 20 to 40 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum.

It’s a lengthy explanation but as the filing points out, post-transaction Verizon Wireless would hold 67 to 149 megahertz of spectrum and T-Mobile would hold 30 to 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 518 counties mentioned, covering parts or all of 133 Cellular Market Areas.

This proposed spectrum exchange doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Verizon’s rumored sale of 700 MHz A Block licenses to T-Mobile. Verizon has indicated it’s considering the deal and Bloomberg last week reported that a potential agreement could be announced this week.

The proposal will see January deadlines for petitions to deny, oppositions and replies.

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