Verizon Gobbles Up More Wireless Spectrum From Cable Companies

Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless made a deal with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to buy billions of dollars of those companies’ collectively held wireless spectrum. Now it looks like yet another cable provider is looking to get out of the wireless business, as Cox has agreed to sell off its advanced wireless spectrum to VZW for $315 million.

For a short period of time, some cable companies had attempted to inch their way into the wireless market, selling hot spot services or wireless data connectivity. But as customers continued to choose cell phone providers for these services — and as those same providers began scrambling for advanced wireless spectrum — the cable folks have begun to realize there is currently more money in selling off the spectrum to Verizon and then making deals to offer those services to its customers under some sort of co-branded offering.

“These agreements provide Cox customers with key enablers to mobility, such as access to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network and iconic wireless devices,” said Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications. “We look forward to the many benefits this will bring to customers.”

Unlike AT&T’s attempt to snatch up T-Mobile USA’s spectrum by buying out the entire company and removing a competitor in the process, these sales from cable providers to Verizon are not expected to hit too many speed bumps in the regulatory review process, as cable carriers have never been viewed as competitors to the cell phone industry.

Cox Communications Announces Agreement to Sell Advanced Wireless Spectrum to Verizon Wireless [Cox.com]

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  1. Marlin says:

    This should be blocked just as the ATT / Tmobile deal. End result is the same. The biggest cell companies get more space and blocks the smaller and mid size ones from getting it.

    • Tegan says:

      While both deals involve the purchasing of wireless spectrum, the Verizon deal lacks the removal of a competitor from the market like the proposed ATT/Tmobile deal. Customers do not lose a choice in cell service provider by Verizon buying spectrum. End result is not the same.

      • Yacko says:

        Also the participants in the Verizon Wireless spectrum sales will sell Verizon services and Verizon will sell services from each of the sellers. It looks like Verizon Wireless is kneecapping Verizon the FiOS and DSL company.

  2. Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

    I should have bought up the internet when it was cheap then sold it off to Verizon. >:(

    I had no idea those tubes would be worth something!

  3. BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

    Glad to see the free market making a bit of sense… We bought it, we don’t want it, we’ll sell it to you.

    • Yacko says:

      No. We licensed it and since we are not going to use it, we are transferring the license for consideration. The US gov, representing the US citizenry, owns the frequency spectrum within the borders of the United States and licenses it out via auctions.

  4. Boiled for your sins says:

    Does this mean Verizon will reinstate the unlimited data option?

  5. minjche says:

    Is this the same wireless spectrum Cox was going to use for their “unbelievably fair” wireless service?

  6. DanKelley98 says:

    Why is there not a maximum amount of spectrum a single company or, better yet, a ceiling of how many companies can control x number of available spectrum.

    Consumers are going to get screwed. Trust me. Bend over, Rover…..

  7. John says:

    I am not upset about this (and I get upset REAL easy). Verizon has provided excellent service to me over the years, and a HECK of a lot better than AT&T during my 2 years of hell when I tried switching. Since Time Warner/Cox/whoever are absolutely NOT the model citizens of price fairness (why do I pay $200 in cable/internet to TW each month), I am just as glad to have the spectrum out of their hands and into Verizon’s in case that makes great service even better.

  8. Cat says:

    Does this mean we get to keep free tv?

  9. SenorAnderson says:

    What is Verizon even going to do with AWS frequency? It uses others frequencies for cellular and data and none of there current phones could even use AWS frequencies. These frequencies would be usefully to the small guys like T-Mobile, MetroPCS, or Cricket because they already use them. Verizon is just trying to make life harder for it’s competitors and has no practical use for this.