updated 05:10 pm EST, Wed November 30, 2011
Exchange gives Cricket LTE access to Chicago
Verizon and Leap, the owner of Cricket, have asked the FCC to approve an exchange of LTE and EVDO spectrum. Once completed, the deal would let Leap offer LTE service in Chicago. Verizon, in return would get locations that service areas including Spokane, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Fresno.
In all, Verizon would get spectrum in 41 markets representing 18.7 million potentially reachable users. In the filing, Verizon claimed that the spectrum it currently owns will not be sufficient "to meet the accelerating demand for more network capacity," adding that the proposed swap is "necessary" to complement the spectrum Verizon currently uses for LTE and EVDO.
Leap will get a 12MHz block of the 700MHz license covering Chicago. Leap currently owns 10MHz of spectrum there and will use the additional spectrum to launch LTE services.
Leap will also pay Verizon an unspecified sum of money for the Chicago spectrum. Verizon bought the right to use the wavelengths at auction for $152 million when the FCC auctioned off the 700MHz frequency in 2008. [via FierceWireless]