When it comes to spectrum, the lions’ share belongs to Verizon. In purchasing TV spectrum not long ago, Verizon agreed to sell of a block of 700MHz spectrum they owned. We told you previously that T-Mobile might be positioning themselves to purchase that spectrum — said to be worth about $4 billion — but they may have company.
A new report suggests that AT&T might be interested in that particular low-level block as well. AT&T currently has another block of that level spectrum, and probably has the means to absorb more. That level of spectrum gives off a penetrating signal, though not a powerful one. Those operating on higher frequencies have a stronger data transfer rate, but not quite the coverage.
T-Mobile, in acquiring the spectrum, would immediately grow their coverage, especially in non-metropolitan areas. They currently operate in the 1900MHz realm, which gives off a stronger signal, but again — limited coverage. It would also solve a nagging issue of T-Mobile operating outside the “normal” coverage frequency, which we saw on Black Friday.
AT&T simply can buy this spectrum, but they don’t need it. T-Mobile desperately needs to gain ground when it comes to spectrum, so it will be interesting to see how this goes. At the end of the day, Verizon will be happy with a bidding war, and if T-Mobile gets the spectrum, so will their customers.