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Verizon continues to gobble up MSO spectrum, Cox next on board
[December 17, 2011]

Verizon continues to gobble up MSO spectrum, Cox next on board

(Connected Planet Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Verizon today went even further “all-in” with its strategy to acquire mobile spectrum from cable MSOs, announcing an agreement to acquire Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) license from Cox Communications for $315 million.

The deal does not include Cox's 700 MHz spectrum licenses or its existing customer accounts , which as previously announced will be phased out in a few months (CP: Cable provider Cox to get out of wireless business).

The deal follows a similar buy-out of wireless spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. That deal netted Verizon some 122 AWS licenses for $3.6 billion (CP: Verizon gains LTE spectrum, helps Time Warner, Comcast, into carrier space).

The aggressive move by Verizon to capture crucial wireless spectrum will have several intriguing competitive after-shocks as well, with Verizon signaling it may resell cable TV services from its new partners in areas where its FiOS network doesn’t reach, and the MSOs likely to resell Verizon mobile services or wholesale VZ raw bandwidth as part of future quad-play packages.

The new partners also plan to create a new joint venture to explore new ways of exploring all of their wireline and wireless products, the companies said.

With this massive cache of AWS spectrum (along with its own AWS holdings), Verizon will be able to greatly expand the capacity of its existing LTE networks – though the build-out will be complicated by the fact that up to now Verizon has constructed its LTE network on spectrum in the 700 Mhz band. In some areas, Verizon could hold as much as 60Mhz of AWS spectrum, enabling it to build a 4G network capable of 3X the speeds of its current LTE offering.

Cox was an original partner of the SpectrumCo joint venture with Comcast, TWC, Bright House and Sprint Nextel, but subsequently sold its stake back to the venture (as did Sprint).

© 2011 Penton Media

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