Verizon Wireless has inked its fourth deal to sell some of the 700 MHz spectrum that it agreed to divest as a condition of gaining approval to purchase AWS spectrum from several of the nation’s largest cable companies. Colorado Valley Communications, a small network operator based in rural Texas will buy a portion of a single lower A-block license from Verizon. The spectrum that Colorado Valley Communications is purchasing covers a population of 126,000 in Fayette, Austin, Colorado, Lavaca and Washington counties.
There was no one available at Colorado Valley Communications to answer questions about the purchase this afternoon. But like other carriers that have purchased lower 700 MHz A- or B-block spectrum from Verizon, Colorado Valley offers fixed broadband wireless service and, considering that mobile handsets for use in those spectrum bands are difficult if not impossible to obtain, it is likely that Colorado Valley plans to use the Verizon spectrum for fixed service as well.
To date each of the sales Verizon has made of 700 MHz spectrum it agreed to divest have involved no more than a few licenses and all of the sales have been to Tier 2 and Tier 3 carriers, including Clear Talk, Panhandle Telecommunications Systems, and Nortex Communications.
Many of the licenses Verizon agreed to sell are still available, including some in markets as large as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Some industry observers have speculated that AT&T would be a likely purchaser of some of Verizon’s 700 MHz spectrum, but AT&T undoubtedly is most interested in metro markets.
Update December 5- Colorado Valley Communications President Scott Martin called us back today to confirm that the company plans to use the spectrum it is purchasing from Verizon Wireless for a fixed service offering.
One thought on “Verizon Wireless Sells 700 MHz Spectrum to Another Rural Carrier”
It seems pretty clear now that this spectrum is dead for use on cellphones, at least in rural areas. The carriers who have launched systems using it, some as long as a year ago, have been completely unable to get phones for their customers to use. AT&T isn't even waving its credit card with reckless abandon to obtain it from Verizon for use in urban areas either. Absent a mandate from the FCC that phone makers produce devices that use it, it may become solely useful for fixed-wireless applications as the way to reach those unserved rural broadband customers