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Verizon CFO: Our 700 MHz spectrum sale is not a 'fire sale'



October 18, 2012 | By Sue Marek




Verizon Wireless said it has many parties interested in purchasing its 700 MHz lower A and B Block spectrum, but company CFO and EVP Fran Shammo told investors on the company's quarterly earnings call that the spectrum is not a "fire sale." And if Verizon does not get the price it wants for the spectrum, Shammo said Verizon will put it to use.


"If we don't get fair value, we will use it internally," he said.


Verizon said in August that there were 64 companies interested in buying the spectrum. However, no deals have yet been announced. Some of the companies rumored to be interested in the spectrum include AT&T Mobility and U.S. Cellular. Shammo said the bidding process for the spectrum is complex and a lot of work still has to be done.


Shammo said he expects the company to be able to provide more details on the spectrum sale later this year or early next year. In addition, he said that any spectrum transactions will have to get FCC approval, which means they won't close until the third or fourth quarter of next year.


Verizon agreed to sell its 700 MHz Lower A and B Block spectrum if the FCC approved its $3.9 billion purchase of AWS spectrum from a group of cable companies. The FCC approved the deal in August.


Now wait a minute. It seems to me that for months VZW was swearing up and down that if the FCC approves their SpectrumCo AWS purchase, they'd sell off all of their 700MHz spectrum except for the upper C which they're currently using, of course. Now when it's time for the rubber to meet the road, they're waffling. If they don't get fair value they'll use it "internally"?! What the heck does that even mean. Typical VZW. Hopefully the FCC won't let them get away with their shenanigans.

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I thought it was an FCC requirement that they divest the additional 700mhz spectrum to get the spectrumco deal to be approved...


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But didnt the fcc also originally mandate that the network built with the 700mhz spectrum be " open"? . Verizon twists everything beyond what one would assume


The Upper 700 MHz C block 22 MHz licenses -- which is the only spectrum that VZW currently uses to provide LTE service -- have "open access" requirements that were triggered by exceeding predetermined reserve prices. The Lower 700 MHz A block 12 MHz and B block 12 MHz licenses in question here have no such requirements.



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