Verizon Wireless plans to put a chunk of wireless spectrum up for sale as it looks for regulatory approval of its controversial plan to purchase a block of spectrum from cable service providers.
The company's offer to sell spectrum follows opposition from several smaller rivals to its efforts to buy wireless airwaves from cable companies including Comcast Corp
Verizon Wireless, the biggest U.S. mobile provider, said it will only go through with its plan, announced on Wednesday, to sell A and B spectrum licenses in the 700 Megahertz (MHz) frequency band if its cable deal is approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice.
Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications
Verizon rivals Sprint Nextel
Verizon's biggest rival AT&T Inc
U.S. wireless service providers all say they are in dire need of access to more airwaves in order to support heavy demand for data services such as mobile video.
Since wireless operators, large and small, have expressed concern about the availability of high-quality spectrum, we believe our 700 MHz licenses will be attractive to a wide range of buyers, Molly Feldman, vice president of Business Development for Verizon Wireless said in a statement.
Moreover, provided our acquisition of AWS spectrum is approved, our open sale process will ensure these A and B spectrum licenses are quickly and fairly made available for the benefit of other carriers and their customers, Feldman said.
Verizon Wireless said it would begin the sale process of the A and B licenses it bought in a 2008 FCC auction, once the cable deal is completed.
It is already building high-speed wireless services in the upper C block of spectrum in the 700 MHz band and aims to supplement with the spectrum from the cable companies.
It has hired Stephens Inc to manage the spectrum sale process.
(Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Leslie Gevirtz)