The FCC gave a formal blessing last week of Verizon’s deal with multiple cable companies that saw Big Red acquire lots of AWS spectrum the company needs to build out its LTE network. One of the contingencies in the deal was that Verizon would need to agree to spectrum swaps with T-Mobile USA and Leap Wireless, and today Verizon and leap have announced that they have agreed to terms in their arrangement. The move would see Leap drop excess AWS and PCS spectrum in the United States in exchange for $120 million and 12MHz of A Block 700MHz spectrum in Chicago from Verizon.
The acquisition more than doubles Leap’s spectrum in the Windy City, bringing the total held to 22MHz in the important Chicago market. The excess cash in the deal will be used by Leap to build out and enhance its 4G LTE network, which the company is looking to roll out over the next three years.
Next up for Verizon is a swap agreement with T-Mobile, with that deal mandated to close in just over a month. The companies have already agreed in principle, and just need to reaffirm that contract with the FCC and DOJ. Should Verizon and T-Mobile not come to an agreement, Verizon’s deal with the cable companies would be null and void.