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back to article Verizon slips $3.6bn shiv into AT&T, T-Mobile ribs

In a surprise move that sent shivers through its competitors, Verizon announced on Friday that it will pay $3.6bn to acquire a broad swath of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from SpectrumCo, a consortium composed of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. "Spectrum is the raw material on which wireless …

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Anonymous Coward

we just had

the news from our upper bosses about this, certainly interesting as we just gave up our tower space too for our company radios. my employers last "wireless" venture with sprint fell flat on it's face 6 months after they launched it...

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259 million POPs?

Huh? Where they hell are they finding 250 million of them?

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Its da Math

probably a typo by a scared typist or 29 million people blew apart with being angry at this so you get roughly 259m pops - ( sic )

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Unless they're issuing one per customer (complete with clumsy backhaul to drag around with you, although coverage would be fabulous), I suspect this is the new management speak for "people".

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How that read in Dtz land

Verizon rutscht $ 3,6 Mrd. shiv in AT & T, TMobile Rippen

Or shortened VZon shiv Rut mobile ribben - the Sopranos it ain't but possibly food for Discworld

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Nice to read about the media oligarchs tit-for-tat maneuvers while the economy burns.

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This is definitely the deal that AT&T should have done and not just in hindsight. Trying to acquire the 4th major was always going to struggle on the antritrust front. By the way Pop is short for Population not point of presence

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Anonymous Coward

explaining "POPs"

The term is used to describe the amount of geographical coverage of the spectrum, not the number of subscribers you might have.

Right now there are an estimated 312 million people total in the U.S. The quote of 259 million POPs means that this spectrum that Verizon just bought could provide coverage to 83% of the population. Assuming that the current wireless market is saturated (everyone who has a phone already has one) this may not translate into new subscribers.

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Paris Hilton

Verizon's aggressive competitive posture score for AT&T?

Would this not effectively nullify any anti-competitive arguments against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger? Seems a HUGE leap forward for Verizon.

Paris, another huge leap, just not sure which direction.

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Gold badge

@186k, well, AT&T played up the "oh, we need so much spectrum", but in reality I think they wanted to buy T-Mobile to eliminate the low-cost GSM competition.

For you Brits, a short recap of the US cellular market... in general, AT&T and T-Mobile are the high and low-cost national GSM carriers, and Verizon Wireless and Sprint the high and low-cost nationwide CDMA carriers. Then there might be a few extra carriers in the mix in any given market. AT&T and VZW have both gone from $30 for unlimited data to $25 for 2GB (AT&T) or $30 for 2GB (VZW) with $10/GB overage. T-Mobile charges $20 for 2GB, *but* throttles rather than charging cash so you don't really have to worry about usage. Sprint's $30 unlimited data is still unlimited.

Anyway... as for the spectrum.

"Normal" cellular service here is at 850 or 1900mhz, either GSM/EDGE/HSPA or CDMA/EVDO.

Verizon Wireless has started running LTE at 700mhz (which is SICK -- I got 28mbps in a speed test at the store with only 2 bars, and people have gotten like 75mbps now and then.) VZW has 700mhz licenses covering the continental US in it's entirety, but intends to use AWS to add capacity.

AT&T has rolled a bit of LTE as well, I've heard in both 700 and AWS. They intend to use 700mhz for LTE as much as possible, but use AWS (1700mhz uplink, 2100mhz downlink) to add capacity or fill in coverage (in places where AT&T has AWS but no 700mhz.)

AWS is already used by T-Mobile (for 21mbps and 42mbps HSPA+... they run GSM/GPRS/EDGE at 1900mhz) and by MetroPCS and Cricket (they run CDMA/EVDO at 1900mhz, but run CDMA/EVDO in AWS in markets where they didn't get any 1900.) MetroPCS is also running LTE, I think also in AWS.

It's kind of a balancing act -- if VZW gets enough LTE phones (especially when VoLTE -- Voice over LTE -- gets implemented) they can start shutting CDMA and EVDO channels off and run more LTE at 850/1900. But they can't shut them down too quickly and degrade service for people who don't upgrade their phones.

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