With the Department of Justice’s stamp of approval just a week old, the FCC has given their own seal of approval to Verizon’s proposed $3.6 billion purchase of SpectrumCo AWS spectrum. Part of the FCC’s conditions for approval was a spectrum swap between Verizon and T-Mobile, which would allow T-Mobile to cover an additional 60 million people. Along with the additional pop coverage, T-Mobile will also be able to deploy LTE in greater swaths, as it would have been limited to 5×5 MHz LTE deployment without Verizon’s AWS spectrum.
The deal itself turns AWS into an essential band for LTE deployment and global roaming, with AWS now rivaling the 700MHz band when considering the amount of roaming partners. That’s great, mostly because it could allow for a greater amount of unlocked devices that can be used on T-Mobile’s network, even while Verizon and AT&T continue their argument about interoperability on the 700MHz band.
There is no doubt this is as much a win for Verizon as it is for T-Mobile, and we’re hopeful that T-Mobile can utilize this new spectrum to significantly expand their future LTE footprint.