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West Central Wireless assets acquired by Verizon


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Effective the 30th, West Central will no longer sign customers up for mobile service or FWA. Sounds like Verizon wanted the spectrum WCW has badly enough that they were willing to pay for it, ignoring the double-handful of customers WCW still has (WCW doesn't have enough spectrum to deploy 5G on its own outside maybe n71 in some areas).

WCW has half of 850 in most of its territory, which is I'm sure why VZW bought in. They also have 10x10 B12 (which is why T-Mobile doesn't in that area), plus some small bits of PCS and AWS in some parts of their service area, plus some 2.5 and 600 in some places. My guess is that VZW will flip the 600, 700, and 2.5, probably to T-Mobile (or maybe AT&T for the 700).

This is notable because T-Mobile roams on WCW. The network isn't fast by any stretch these days, but it covers some areas that T-Mobile doesn't...yet. So T-Mobile will now need to overbuild those areas. On the upside, T-Mobile has plenty of 600 in those areas, and might also get 700...and you routinely see 200-300' towers so cell radii can be 8 miles.

There was a time when one of the companies WCW eventually bought was what I liked to call "Five Bar Wireless"...they had coverage where no one else did, either on TDMA or CDMA. There are still areas where they're the only one with service, though those are harder to find now.

My guess is that it's getting harder and harder to be a mobile provider with less than 100k customers. No economies of scale, rising expenses due to the expectation of 5G, and not enough spectrum to go hard on modern FWA. So best to take the money VZW will give you for the spectrum and sink that into FTTH (WCW is a division of a telephone co-op). Nice thing about FTTH is once the infrastructure is built in that rural of an area, no one will ever overbuild you. And you can build XGS-PON (or upgrade to it), which means FWA can't compete on speed even if they're using a full 200 MHz of C-Band. And you can even sell them backhaul for their mobile service.

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