While all eyes have been focused on the AWS-3 spectrum auctions (nearing bids of $40 billion!), one carrier had its sights on the Northwest for additional spectrum. In a filing with the FCC, T-Mobile has requested the assignment of spectrum in large swaths of Washington state and Oregon.
On November 25, 2014, T-Mobile agreed to acquire 700 MHz A-Block spectrum holdings from Vulcan Wireless in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton and Portland-Salem metro areas and filed an application with the FCC to transfer the related spectrum license assignments.
“These assignments involve only the transfer of spectrum and do not involve any transfer of network or other assets or customers,” a T-Mobile spokesman said in a prepared statement.
Before the transaction, T-Mobile had only PCS and AWS spectrum in those regions, totaling between 60 megahertz and 90 megahertz in each area. The Vulcan buy adds 12 megahertz of 700-MHz spectrum to the carrier’s cache. The low-band spectrum features enhanced building-penetration characteristics. Now, T-Mobile will have 102 megahertz in Bellingham, Washington, 92 megahertz in the Seattle-Everett area and 82 megahertz in the Portland area, among other service areas.
“The assignments will augment T-Mobile’s spectrum holdings and will benefit consumers by expanding capacity enabling better in-building coverage in urban areas and greater breadth of network in suburban and rural areas,” according to T-Mobile.
No financial details on the deal were made available.