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Verizon wraps up 700MHz spectrum sales to three rural telecom firms

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 15, 2013
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While Verizon wasn't quick to start selling 700MHz blocks to live up to the terms of its AWS purchase, it's clearly willing to up the tempo. The carrier says it just finished deals this week to sell lower B-block 700MHz airwaves in Texas to already announced customer Nortex Communications as well as Oklahoma's Panhandle Telecommunication Systems. We're also learning that Verizon quietly signed off on a deal in mid-January that transfers A-block spectrum in Houston to Colorado Valley Communications. The agreements might not provide the interoperability with Verizon's C-block that some crave, but they could still help level the playing field for smaller telecom outlets.

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Verizon Wireless Completes Spectrum Sales to Three Rural Companies

Verizon Wireless has completed three spectrum license sale transactions following agreements reached late last year as part of the open sale process for its 700 MHz A and B Block licenses. Nortex Communications and Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, Inc. closed on their respective purchases this week. Colorado Valley Communications completed its purchase on January 16, 2013.

Nortex Communications, based in Muenster, Texas, acquired the Texas RSA 6-Jack 700 MHz lower B-block license, which covers a four-county area northwest of Dallas. Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, Inc., based in Guymon, Okla., acquired the Texas RSA 2-Hansford 700 MHz lower B-block license, which covers 12 counties in the northwest part of Texas. Colorado Valley Communications purchased a partitioned A-Block license covering a five-county area in the Houston market.

Verizon Wireless offered its lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses for sale to rationalize its spectrum holdings and enable more spectrum to reach the marketplace where it can be used for the benefit of customers. As a result of the sale process, Verizon Wireless signed agreements with seven companies, including one national carrier, five rural or regional carriers and one minority-owned firm. To date, three purchases have been completed and four remain pending. Verizon Wireless is also getting 700 MHz C block spectrum into the hands of 20 rural operators through its LTE in Rural America leasing program.

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