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Nortex to purchase Verizon Wireless’ 700 MHz spectrum

Thu, 11/15/2012 - 2:22pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Verizon said Wednesday that it has agreed to sell a portion of its lower 700 MHz B-block spectrum to Nortex Communications, an independent telephone company based in Muenster, Texas.

The spectrum is part of Verizon's holding in the 700 MHz A- and B-blocks that it said it would sell if the FCC approved its $3.9 billion purchase of AWS spectrum from four cable companies.

If approved by regulators, Nortex would acquire a license for 700 MHz lower B-block spectrum that covers a four-county area northwest of Dallas.

Verizon acquired its 700 MHz A- and B-block spectrum through an FCC auction back in 2008 but never used it. The company moved forward with selling the spectrum after the FCC and DOJ approved Verizon's acquisition of 150 AWS licenses from Cox Communications, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in August of 2012.

Although the sale to Nortex is the first to be signed as a result of the announced sale process, Verizon said that it has previously sold 24 of its lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses to seven different telecommunications companies operating in 13 states.

While Verizon is making an effort to sell its unused spectrum, the carrier has made clear that it won’t be discounting it. Fran Shammo, Verizon's CFO, said during a third-quarter earnings call that the company would find a way to use the spectrum internally if it couldn't get fair market value for it.

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