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.