Verizon Wireless Receives Wide Interest in 700 MHz Spectrum

By Josh Long Comments
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Dozens of entities have expressed interest in purchasing spectrum that the nation's largest wireless carrier acquired in 2008 during a Federal Communications Commission auction.

Sixty four entities have shown interest and executed non-disclosure agreements in connection with Verizon Wireless' 700 MHz A and B licenses, according to a Federal Communications Commission filing. The licenses cover dozens of large U.S. cities including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles as well as a number of smaller and rural markets.

Verizon's sale of the licenses is contingent on regulatory approval of its acquisition of Advanced Wireless Services spectrum licenses from U.S. cable companies. The Justice Department last week announced it would approve Verizon's $3.9 billion acquisition of spectrum from Bright House Networks, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable after the companies agreed to make a number of concessions over related co-marketing agreements. The Federal Communications Commission also must bless the agreements, and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he is in favor of doing so.

"As previously announced, the sale of the A and B Block spectrum licenses is contingent on the approval of our acquisition of spectrum from the cable companies," Verizon spokeswoman Robin Nicol told FierceWireless. "If the FCC approves the acquisition, we will keep moving forward with the sale process for the A and B Block spectrum. We have not set a date yet for taking bids, but expect to do that soon. Verizon Wireless remains committed to putting unused spectrum in the hands of companies that can use it for the benefit of their customers."

Verizon Wireless has engaged two financial advisors to assist with the sale: Loop Capital Markets LLC; and Stephens Inc. The wireless carrier noted in May that the advisors would "reach out to a wide range of potential bidders, including minority-owned and female-owned businesses."

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