Verizon Wireless Wooing Spectrum Regulators With $4.4 Billion Worth Of Airwaves

Right now Verizon Wireless is so dang flush with airwaves that everyone else wants, it’s all rolling around on a bed of airwaves being like, “Airwaves? Which airwaves? Oh, you mean these? Don’t need’em!” At least that’s what it says it will do if regulators let the company buy the new chunks of spectrum they want from cable companies.

The only potential fly in Verizon’s eye, says the L.A. Times, could be those persnickety regulators, who need to approve the company’s planned purchase of spectrum from large cable companies.

Back in 2008, Verizon bought $4.4 billion in airwaves in a government auction, but now the company says it won’t need that spectrum in order to deploy its fourth-generation LTE network. It all hinges on chunks of spectrum Verizon wants to buy from a consortium of Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, among others.

The spectrum it wants to sell covers large areas including L.A., New York, Chicago and other big metro areas. In the world of wireless, spectrum is highly-coveted, as experts see a “spectrum crunch” looming ahead because of our greed for data on the go.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice are on top of things and taking a look at the planned purchases. Verizon’s probably playing a bit of a brown-noser right about now, as the intention to sell the spectrum they have might win them some points with regulators.

“Since wireless operators, large and small, have expressed concern about the availability of high-quality spectrum, we believe our 700-megahertz licenses will be attractive to a wide range of buyers,” said Molly Feldman, vice president of business development at Verizon Wireless.

Critics of the idea say Verizon’s offer to sell spectrum won’t actually result in more wireless competition. It would seem likely that AT&T would just buy Verizon’s spectrum, and if AT&T ever had some to sell, Verizon would buy it up.

To that point, T-Mobile has already asked the FCC to stop Verizon’s plan.

Verizon Wireless plans to sell coveted airwaves [L.A. Times]