Today the two wireless giants have agreed to swap some of their spectrum. Following earnings reports this week from both parties, today the folks from Verizon have agreed to sell off about $1.9 billion worth of network spectrum to their friendly foes at AT&T. The deal will see Verizon transfer 39 700MHz spectrums to AT&T, while gaining some AWS for themselves.
The news and deal was confirmed today by Verizon Wireless, as well as plenty of small details containing what this means for both companies involved. The spectrum in question is Verizon's 700 MHz B band which covers over 42 million people across 18 states, including Colorado, Florida, Texas, and Utah. Many of the areas currently aren't supported by AT&T, so they'll be bolstering their network.
While we can't say for sure what AT&T plans to do with the newly acquired network real estate, it's pretty much a given that they'll be using it to improve and expand their 4G LTE offering. As shown below, AT&T's been on a buying spree as of late. Improving and expanding 4G LTE will be one of the main priorities for both companies as 2013 continues on.
As detailed by Verizon, this deal was actually agreed on last year during previous spectrum purchases, and was necessary to get past deals approved. It isn't all good news for AT&T though, because Verizon has their own plans. The deal worth $1.9 billion consists of a cash payment from AT&T, and some of their Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum. While AT&T is willing to give up the AWS spectrum in favor of the 700 MHz, Verizon surely has something in mind for it. We can expect to see more 4G LTE updates from AT&T following the deal so stay tuned.