We heard a while back that T-Mobile is considering a bid for Verizon’s A block spectrum. VZW is open to sell, but only for the right price, expected to be around the $3 billion mark. This particular block of spectrum is certainly sought after since it’s ideal for covering long distances and for getting in to buildings. This would not only require fewer masts for optimal coverage, but also ensure that signal isn’t lost once you go indoors.
According to a report on WSJ late yesterday evening, AT&T is looking to compete with T-Mobile in a bid for Verizon’s available spectrum, although all three carriers refused to comment on any possible deal being done.
T-Mobile is said to be very keen on acquiring the lower frequency spectrum, since its network runs almost entirely on higher frequencies. And, as we all know, T-Mobile needs to expand quickly and effectively if it is to continue the momentum gained over the past 12 months. The “A block” spectrum is in the lower 700MHz frequency.
On the plus side, or on T-Mobile’s side, is that AT&T’s bid for extra low frequency spectrum could be challenged by the authorities over fears that it would then own too much, going against the spirit of competition. And it already owns around 75% of that low-band spectrum.
With the sale of stock and debt, Tmo has raised around $4 billion in cash specifically for bolstering its network and buying more spectrum, putting it in a good position to make use of VZW’s available block.
Whether or not this deal between Tmo and Verizon will go through is anyone’s guess right now. Companies are remaining fairly tight-lipped. What we do know is that magenta is putting spectrum acquisition on the top of its list of priorities for the short/medium term future. It’s done almost all that it can in terms of great offers over the past 9-12 months. Now’s the time to improve not only the amount of coverage offered across the States, but also the quality of that coverage.