T-Mobile, Verizon sign spectrum deal to grow 4G network

Verizon and T-Mobile strike a deal on AWS spectrum bands
Verizon and T-Mobile strike a deal on AWS spectrum bands

Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile signed an agreement covering a range of AWS spectrum swaps and sales that should improve 4G coverage for both companies.

While the deal concerns various AWS spectrum exchanges between both carriers, the net result will be improved spectrum holdings for T-Mobile in 15 of the county's top 25 markets and reaching 60 million customers.

Verizon will gain holdings that cover 22 million customers, as well as an undisclosed cash payment from T-Mobile.

"This agreement will provide T-Mobile with critical AWS spectrum, enhancing both network capacity and performance and allowing us to meet the growing consumer demand for 4G mobile broadband," T-Mobile CEO and President Philipp Humm said.

Verizon, T-Mobile on the other end of the spectrum

Earlier this year, Verizon set out to acquire unused AWS spectrum bands held by SpectrumCo, Cox, and Comcast among others. T-Mobile took issue with the deal, petitioned the FCC that Verizon was hoarding AWS spectrum licenses.

Verizon responded by announcing it would put many of its spectrum bands up for sale. This current deal seems to put an end to the bad blood between Verizon and T-Mobile.

In fact, many of the spectrum bands that will be transferred to T-Mobile in the deal come from the unused cable bands Verizon originally tried to purchase.

So T-Mobile can only get this spectrum deal on the condition that Verizon wins its "hoarding" purchase.

T-Mobile is making an increased push toward 4G, previously pledging $4 billion toward expanding its LTE networks for 2013, and this deal with Verizon should help the carrier in its goals.

Verizon, meanwhile, recently expanded its own 4G networks to 46 new markets, on track to cover 400 cities by the end of 2012.