Verizon pledges mobile video if AWS deal closes
Verizon is reportedly planning a mobile video service if the government clears its multi-billion-dollar spectrum and marketing deal with four cable operators.
Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam told The Wall Street Journal that if the deal closes, it may launch a service by year-end that lets subscribers of Verizon Wireless, FiOS and its cable partners watch some paid content on their smartphones and tablets.
"We could have something out that would be the beginnings of an integrated offering in time for the holidays," he told the publication.
If the service comes to fruition, it may allow consumers to purchase specific content instead of paying for bundled channels, the way content is traditionally packaged in the paid television market.
Verizon Wireless is working to convince the FCC and Justice Department to approve its $3.9 billion purchase of AWS spectrum from Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Comcast. The companies also forged a marketing arrangement that would allow them to cross-sell each other's products.
Verizon said it needs the cable-owned airwaves to add capacity to its LTE network and has argued that its FiOS product will remain competitive even as it moves to sell other companies' cable service in its own stores.
Opponents say the deal would consolidate too much spectrum with Verizon and have questioned whether the marketing deal amounts to a non-compete agreement.
Last week, five cities in the Northeast voiced concerns that Verizon would have “little incentive” to expand FiOS to their communities if its marketing arrangement with cable operators went through.