Verizon, Leap announce $120 million spectrum deal

Spectrum is a hotter commodity than ever for wireless providers
Spectrum is a hotter commodity than ever for wireless providers

Verizon and Leap Wireless have announced that plans for a large spectrum swap are now finalized.

The deal will allow Verizon to acquire an unspecified amount of Leap's excess AWS and PCS spectrum bands across the country, in exchange for 12MHz of 700MHz A Block spectrum for Chicago.

The 12MHz of A Block spectrum will supplement the existing 10MHz of spectrum bands Leap operates in Chicago.

In addition to the swapped spectrum bands, Verizon paid out more than $120 million to Leap, which the wireless company plans to put toward offering LTE service to two-thirds of its network over the next two or three years.

All part of a greater plan

The deal follows recent FCC approval for Verizon to purchase spectrum bands from cable providers, including SpectrumCo, Cox, Comcast, and others.

In order to approve the cable spectrum purchase, the FCC stipulated that Verizon's exchange with Leap Wireless needs to succeed.

A second FCC stipulation concerns the spectrum deal Verizon and T-Mobile signed earlier this year, which sees T-Mobile gaining spectrum holdings to reach 60 million of its customers.

Both deals were made to avoid accusations that Verizon is hoarding spectrum licenses, an accusation T-Mobile itself filed back in February. In fact, many of the spectrum bands that will be transferred to T-Mobile in the deal will come directly from the cable purchase.

With the Leap deal finalized today, Verizon and T-Mobile now have forty days to finalize their exchange in order to comply with the FCC.

Via Leap Wireless