Back in April, Verizon Wireless announced that they would sell their 700MHz A and B block spectrum if their proposed purchase of AWS spectrum from cable companies went through. Now AT&T seems to have become interested in purchasing that 700MHz spectrum if Verizon’s deal gains approval. While speaking at a recent event, AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, voiced the opinion of his company in saying that it “pairs perfectly” with AT&T’s current spectrum. Stephenson went on to say that “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.”
Stephenson also touched a little bit on what the government needs to do regarding spectrum. He stated that the government needs to work to get companies to use their spectrum effectively or to advise them to sell it to companies that will. He also said that the processes that are needed to build new cell sites need to be made easier. He said that the zoning and permitting processes are what slow projects down and cause them to stop and wait for everything to go through the processes.
So it sounds like AT&T would be happy with Verizon selling their 700MHz spectrum but other companies like U.S. Cellular have shown interest in buying it. In fact, Verizon claims that 36 different interested parties have given it attention due to an FCC filing last month. None of those companies will be able to purchase Verizon’s 700 MHz spectrum though if the AWS deal doesn’t go through. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens with Verizon and their buying and selling plans.