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Why is VZ selling prime 700MHz spectrum for AWS?

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Because they want the AWS for VoLTE on smaller feature phones. Plus the technology isn't developed yet to use both upper and lower 700 block LTE. They pretty much bought the lower 700 block licenses just to keep it out of the hands of their competitors.


The lower 700 A block also gets interference from UHF transmissions making it less attractive to build out on.


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There must be a good reason to sell prime 700MHz spectrum to exchange for the less useful AWS Verizon wants to buy, but I have no idea what that reason is.


I completely disagree that the AWS spectrum is less useful than the 700 MHz A and B blocks. The 700 MHz A and B blocks are not very attractive especially the A block which is adjacent to TV channels which can interfere with LTE. The 700 MHz A and B blocks are not even nationwide are only in some of the big markets. If Verizon is able to pull this off and offer this as a concession to obtain FCC approval, then Verizon got the better end of the deal did a really good job and fooled the FCC.


I used to think that all higher frequencies were considered "less useful" until I understood the trade offs between building penetration and capacity. The ever so increasing data problem in the future like 5 years out will not be building penetration but rather capacity and I think the AWS spectrum (1700/2100 MHz) is a good balance between building penetration and capacity. The reason why AWS spectrum is more useful IMO is because even though AWS spectrum does not have as good building penetration and requires more towers than 700 MHz spectrum, AWS spectrum is able to handle more users in the same exact amount of area due to the increased amount of towers it will need to cover that area.

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The FCC auction for 700 MHz had some complicated rules to it. The result is that Verizon ended up with near nationwide coverage in the upper C block along with some A and B blocks scatterred throughout the country. No one has engineered an antenna that can use both upper 700 MHz and lower 700 MHz bands in a compact form-factor. Verizon logically chose to create devices that use its upper C block. That leaves Verizon with a lot of A and B blocks that are not being built out, so the decision is to sell off those blocks.


This probably benefits AT&T the most. AT&T picked up many A and B block licenses, but not enough to have nationwide LTE coverage. Picking up Verizon's licenses will give increased LTE coverage.


It doesn't make any sense for Sprint to bid on the licenses because adding a patchwork of 700MHz doesn't improve Sprint's plan to already use 800MHz, 1900MHz and (Clearwire) 2.5GHz. T-Mobile has stated that they're not interested either.


SpectrumCo's AWS coverage is coast-to-coast, but there are many holes in between. These licenses do complement Verizon's AWS licenses which is mostly in the Eastern US. While building penetration is not stellar, Verizon could aggregate the AWS band with their 700MHz band (once they upgrade to Release 10 of LTE) much the way Sprint will aggregate Clearwire's 2.5GHz band.


The FCC is rightly asking why the 700MHz sale is contingent on the AWS license transfer being approved. Really, Verizon has no interest in using that spectrum anyway, but they're trying to present an incentive for the AWS approval, when they're really not related.

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The only true Eason is to get that high capacitcy AWS and get rid of the 700 spectrum that gets interference

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What is this gruff about parts of 700mhz not being compatible with the same antenna, amps, etc? That doesn't sound right to me. Sure, it might not be quite as efficient outside its designed band but there is no way it drops off that fast.


The rest of it makes sense though.

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