Sprint, T-Mobile Ask FCC to Delay Verizon's AWS Buy
Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and DirecTV have asked the Federal Communications Commission to pause its review of Verizon Wireless's proposed acquisition of 122 AWS spectrum licenses from a handful of cable companies. At issue, say the signees, is the cross-selling agreement that Verizon has also struck with the cable companies to promote one another's services. Though Verizon has provided some information about the agreement, it has witheld some details and maintains that the cross-selling agreement doesn't fall under FCC purview. "As a result of the incomplete submissions by the Applicants, neither the Commission nor interested parties have an adequate basis upon which to assess the public interest implications of the proposed transactions," the companies wrote in a letter to the FCC. They are asking that the FCC halt its review of the deal until Verizon provides all the necessary information, and then reset the 180-day review clock back to zero. Verizon is paying $3.6 billion for AWS licenses from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. It also has a separate deal with Cox Communications to buy its AWS assets for $315 million.
Sprint Targeting a Fall Launch for VoLTE
Sprint expects to deploy voice over LTE across its network starting this fall. Sprint competitors AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless already offer VoLTE across the bulk of their footprints, making Spring the last major carrier to deploy the upgraded voice technology.
FCC Awards Spectrum Licenses to AWS-3 Bidders
The FCC today officially granted some winning bidders in the AWS-3 spectrum auction the licenses allowing them to take ownership of the airwaves. The AWS-3 spectrum auction concluded earlier this year, with AT&T, Dish Networks, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless the top four bidders.
Verizon and T-Mobile Agree to $173M Spectrum Swap
Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have agreed to exchange AWS-1 and PCS spectrum in dozens of markets around the country in a deal valued at $173 million. The spectrum in question covers portions of Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia.
LG V20: First Phone To Support Band 66
FCC documents indicate that the LG V20 variants for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile will be the first phones to support LTE in the new band 66. Band 66 includes the AWS-1, AWS-3, and AWS-4 frequencies.
Dish's Designated Entities Give Up 197 Spectrum Licenses
Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless LicenseCo surrendered 197 AWS-3 spectrum licenses and paid a $413 million fine to the FCC for defaulting on their $3.3 billion payment. Dish Networks participated in this year's auction through Northstar and SNR.