T-Mobile USA says it will be able to improve its wireless coverage in 15 U.S. cities, including Seattle, as the result of an agreement with Verizon Wireless to purchase and trade wireless spectrum in markets across the country. The spectrum will help Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA roll out 4G LTE wireless service next year, the company says.
Why would Verizon do such a thing? The deal is contingent on Verizon’s ability to complete its proposed $3.6 billion purchase of spectrum from SpectrumCo a consortium of cable companies including Comcast and Time Warner.
That deal is getting close scrutiny from the FCC, and the T-Mobile agreement looks like Verizon’s attempt to appease regulators.
Verizon and T-Mobile announced their deal this morning. T-Mobile USA, the U.S. unit of Deutsche Telekom, says the transaction with Verizon would include a cash payment to Verizon, but specific financial terms haven’t been disclosed.
“This is good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers,” said T-Mobile CEO and President Philipp Humm in a news release. “We anticipate FCC approval later this summer, in time for us to incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernization and the rollout of LTE services next year.”
T-Mobile USA has been looking to bolster its position following the disintegration of AT&T’s bid to buy the company.