U.S. Cellular interested in purchasing 700MHz spectrum from VerizonAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
T-Mobile may not be interested in buying the 700MHz spectrum that Verizon said it would sell if its AWS deal with several cable companies is approved, but a different carrier has stepped up to say that it might take Verizon up on its offer. U.S. Cellular has told the FCC that the sale could help carriers that own spectrum licenses that are in Class 12 of the 700MHz band, which includes it, C Spire Wireless and other operators. It also noted, though, that it'd be ok with AT&T or Verizon utilizing the 700MHz spectrum, so long as the outcome is an LTE network and slate of devices that are compatible with the aforementioned Class 12 networks. U.S. Cellular also told the FCC that it must "must still act quickly to promote interoperability within the lower 700MHz bands," explaining that sale doesn't override the need for an interoperability requirement.
Earlier this year, U.S. began rolling out its 4G LTE network to a handful of cities in states like Iowa, Texas and Wisconsin, and the carrier says that it plans to cover around 50 percent of its customers with LTE coverage by the end of this year. It makes sense to see U.S. Cellular pushing for interoperability when it comes to the 700MHz spectrum, as that would allow for more devices to be used with more carriers and offer increased opportunities for roaming agreements. Whether or not U.S. Cellular's wishes for interoperability come true remains to be seen, but it'll definitely be interesting to follow the situation and see how the FCC weighs in on the issue. Stay tuned!