updated 01:55 pm EDT, Wed April 18, 2012
Verizon uses 700MHz as bargaining chip
Verizon has said it would put up some of its 700MHz wireless spectrum up for sale if it's cleared to go ahead with its cable company spectrum deal. The move would give up sections of the A and B blocks of 700MHz space it runs in Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Its plan wouldn't directly affect the existing LTE network, which runs on the C block.
The company's Business Development head Molly Feldman thought the extra space would be "attractive" to carriers and other providers that were determined to get frequency access. It would be "quickly and fairly" sold off if cleared, Feldman said.
FCC regulators have been screening the deal over concerns that it might be consolidating too much power, both in frequency and in the media bundle deals that are already taking effect. Verizon has been trying to placate officials by promising a mobile TV deal, although this has been criticized as hollow since it would largely be limited to customers of other Verizon services.
If successful, Verizon would use the mostly higher frequencies from Bright House, Comcast, Cox, Leap, and Time Warner Cable to bolster its LTE coverage. It currently doesn't have a congestion problem on the still lightly-loaded 4G network, but it and other incumbent carriers have been contending that they face an eventual spectrum "crunch" and need as much bandwidth as they can to keep ahead.