Verizon's AWS spectrum acquisition officially approved by the FCCAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Looks like Verizon might have a bit of celebrating to do tonight, as the FCC has officially approved the carrier's acquisition of AWS spectrum from a group of cable companies. Unsurprisingly, the FCC's stamp of approval comes with some commitments and conditions that Verizon must agree to. For example, the carrier must finish its spectrum transfer with T-Mobile within 45 days of its closing of the deals with the cable companies and Leap. In addition, Verizon must to provide service to 30 percent of the areas in which it's gaining AWS spectrum within three years and then 70 percent within seven years, as well as offer roaming agreements for "commercial mobile data services" in any of the areas where it's gaining AWS spectrum for the five years following the FCC's order.
Today's news comes a week after the U.S. Department of Justice gave the deal the green light, and at the same time, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that he felt the deal should be approved. In order to help get these deals green lighted by regulators, Verizon agreed to a deal with T-Mobile that'll see the big red carrier divesting some of its spectrum to T-Mobile, a move that the FCC described as "unprecedented." Verizon has also said that it will sell off some of its 700MHz spectrum now that the AWS acquisition has been approved, a sale that Verizon expects to be "robust" since 65 parties have requested and received information about the sale. Verizon says that it plans to use its newly-acquired AWS spectrum along with its existing 700MHz upper C band spectrum to help roll out more LTE capacity. You can find both the FCC and Verizon's announcements of the deal's approval at the links below.