I’m sitting here in the West End thinking about how many more voice channels the city could get if the Federal Communications Commission would allow Verizon to purchase Advanced Wireless Services spectrum from SpectrumCo. Verizon would like to add the 20 MHz of SpectrumCo.’s AWS spectrum to Verizon’s existing portion.
Without sounding to nerdy, AWS offers the advantages of better support for 3G and 4G networks. AWS allows a carrier to differentiate its services based on network speed and availability of broadband services.
So far the argument proffered by advocacy groups such as Free Press has been that Verizon should not be allowed to have this spectrum because they either have too much or they have been sitting on what they have. Imagine explaining that one to their shareholders. “Yes, we’ve been passing up the opportunity to maximize shareholder wealth by not offering services because it would mean using spectrum we spent billions of your capital buying.” Wow. That type of logic would make JP Morgan’s $2 billion trading loss look totally insignificant.
The argument simply makes no sense. Verizon did not become the number one wireless carrier in the U.S. by making irrational capital allocation decisions. Besides, if they were really that interested in hoarding spectrum, they would petition to buy the AWS spectrum while keeping the B and C blocks of the 700 MHz spectrum they already have.
Consumers and the FCC need to stay focused on the reality. There are a bunch of cable companies sitting on spectrum they are not using. They are letting fertile ground lay fallow and farmer Verizon sees an opportunity to seed more crops. Let Verizon go ahead and seed.