FCC Grants Filing Extension to Verizon/Leap Opponents
The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is consolidating the deadlines for filing comments regarding or petitions to deny Verizon Wireless's spectrum acquisitions from Leap Wireless, SpectrumCo, and Cox Communications. The filing period for the Leap Wireless petitions and comments was set to expire December 28, but the Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG) and MetroPCS submitted motions seeking to extend the filing period and combine the review processes. RTG and MetroPCS argued that since Verizon is looking to acquire spectrum from three different sources, that the acquisitions should be weighed at the same time. The FCC agreed that the comments and petitions to deny should all be collected at the same time, but has yet to say whether or not it will consolidate the Leap Wireless, SpectrumCo, and Cox spectrum acquisition review process. Verizon is hoping to bag blocks of 700MHz and 1700MHz wireless spectrum from this collection of purchases, which it will use to supplement its Long Term Evolution 4G network.
AT&T Seeking 700MHz Spectrum from Peoples Wireless
AT&T has asked the FCC for permission to purchase two Lower 700 MHz C Block licenses from Peoples Wireless in Texas. If granted, AT&T would hold 24 MHz of contiguous, paired Lower 700 MHz spectrum in the two cellular market areas in question.
FCC Weighing Mid-Band Spectrum for 5G
The FCC today issued a Notice of Inquiry concerning new spectrum bands it is eying for potential 5G deployments. Until today, the FCC has targeted 5G deployments in spectrum below the 3.7 GHz band and above the 24 GHz band.
T-Mobile Implores FCC to Set Aside More Low-Band Spectrum
T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray filed a letter with the FCC asking it to raise the amount of spectrum set aside for competitive carriers in the forthcoming 600MHz reverse auction. The FCC has already agreed to reserve 30MHz of spectrum for carriers other than AT&T and Verizon.
Verizon Picks Up XO's Fiber Network to Beef Up Backhaul
Verizon Communications today said it has agreed to acquire XO Communications' fiber business for $1.8 billion. The deal, says Verizon, will help it serve its enterprise and wholesale customers, as well as allow Verizon to further densify its cellular network.
T-Mobile to Buy Chicago-Area Spectrum to Boost Coverage
T-Mobile today said it has agreed to buy 700 MHz spectrum from Leap in order to bring its "extended-range LTE" coverage to the Chicago metropolitan area. Specifically, T-Mobile is snagging A-Block 700 MHz spectrum covering Chicago, Elgin, Joliet, Waukegan, Evanston, Naperville, Aurora, Gary, Rockford, De Kalb, Janesville, Bloomington, Normal, Kankakee, Kenosha, and others.