Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Sell AWS Spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 Billion

PHILADELPHIA, BASKING RIDGE, N.J., NEW YORK and ORLANDO, FLA.: Verizon Wireless has agreed to buy the advanced wireless spectrum held by SpectrumCo, LLC, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks for $3.6 billion. Verizon Wireless will acquire SpectrumCo’s122 AWS spectrum licenses covering 259 million POPs--roughly, the number of people per MHz passed in a coverage area. Comcast owns 63.6 percent of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $2.3 billion from the sale. TWC owns 31.2 percent of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $1.1 billion. Bright House Networks owns 5.3 percent of SpectrumCo and will receive approximately $189 million.

In addition to the spectrum sale, the conglomerates struck an agreement to sell each others’ service. I.e., the cable companies will sell Verizon Wireless service, and vice versa, “and, over time, the cable companies will have the option of selling Verizon Wireless’ service on a wholesale basis,” the announcement said.The group has also formed a technology joint venture to “better integrate wireline and wireless products and services.These agreements, together with our Wi-Fi plans, enable us to execute a comprehensive, long-term wireless strategy and expand our focus on providing mobility to our Xfinity services,” said Neil Smit, president of Comcast Cable.

Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, said, “Buying the AWS spectrum now solidifies our network leadership into the future, and will enable us to bring even better 4G LTE products and services to our customers.”

Time Warner Cable President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Marcus: said, “We’re excited to… have Verizon Wireless as a sales channel for our superb wireline services. We’re also pleased to have obtained an attractive price for the spectrum we’re selling.” 

SpectrumCo’s sale and transfer of its advanced wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and review under the Hart-Scott Rodino Act and other customary conditions. 

~ Deborah D. McAdams, Television Broadcast