AT&T Would Love to Buy Verizon's 700MHz Spectrum
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson today said while speaking at an investor event that the company is highly interested in the 700MHz A and B Block spectrum that Verizon Wireless has put on the table. "The spectrum that Verizon has commented on that they'd be selling pairs perfectly with ours," he said in response to a question. "If we were to have access to that spectrum we could put it to work in 60 days. In 60 days that would be up and running and hot." Verizon Wireless announced that it would sell its lower A and B Block spectrum if the Federal Communications Commission gives it permission to purchase 122 AWS spectrum licenses from a consortium of cable companies. AT&T already owns some Lower B Block spectrum. Stephenson noted that he believes the FCC should help make it easier for wireless network operators to build cell towers. "It is like a bad trip to the doctor to get zoning and permitting for a cell site," he said. "It is no less painful to get zoning and permitting for a smaller cell site. That's where the cost and the delay for all of this comes to a grinding halt." Last, Stephenson said that the FCC should require that operators make better use of the spectrum assets they already own. Verizon Wireless, for example, has taken heat for allowing its Lower A and B Block 700MHz spectrum to remain unused. Verizon noted last month that 36 different companies have indicated interest in its spectrum assets.
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