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August 24, 2012

US FCC approves Verizon Wireless’ $3.9bn cable spectrum deal

The approval follows the US Department of Justice's (DOJ) approval that Verizon had secured earlier.

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the Verizon Wireless’ agreements worth $3.9bn to purchase wireless spectrum owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications.

FCC’s approval follows the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) approval that Verizon had secured earlier.

The purchase of spectrum will enable Verizon to add capacity to its 4G LTE wireless broadband network.

Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network is available in more than 370 markets covering about 75% of the US population.

While approving the deal the regulators have put additional conditions onto the deal and the company has agreed for a spectrum swap with T-Mobile USA within 45 days of closing of the deal to help boost competition.

The company will also have to offer service to at least cover 30% of the population within three years and to 70% within seven years.

Verizon will have to continue to offer data roaming services to its competitors for five year at reasonable rates in the areas where it has acquired new airwaves.

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The agency said that the spectrum sale to T-Mobile must close within 45 days of the close of the cable spectrum deal.

In December 2011, Verizon and the SpectrumCo cable operators signed an agreement that would give Verizon Wireless an additional 20 megahertz of wireless spectrum in the valuable Advanced Wireless Services block.

The companies also signed several agreements to resell each others’ services and the cable companies will have the option of selling Verizon Wireless’ service on a wholesale basis.

As part of the deal, the companies will form a technology joint venture to develop technology that better integrates wireline and wireless products and services.

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