Verizon's got some 700MHz A Block spectrum that it's been looking at offloading lately, and so far both AT&T and T-Mobile have been named as potential buyers. The big red carrier has said that it won't sell the airwaves unless it gets an offer that it considers to be fair, though, and that it will just use the spectrum itself if no company can come up with enough cash. However, Verizon recently indicated that cash isn't the only way to its heart or its 700MHz A Block airwaves, saying that it's also open to a spectrum swap.
Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam has said that his carrier would be open to trading its 700MHz A Block spectrum for other airwaves that it could put to better use. T-Mobile has raised around $3 billion in cash that could be put toward a purchase of Verizon's spectrum, but a swap with Big Red would enable to T-Mo to use that money on something else. Meanwhile, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson declined to comment on whether or not his company is eying Verizon's spectrum, saying only that the airwaves suffer from some television broadcast interference that needs to be cleared up in order to make the spectrum more attractive.
Spectrum swaps are nothing new in the mobile industry, as we often see companies strike deals that involve both cash and airwave transfers. As I said before, such a trade could be good for T-Mobile because it would allow Magenta to use the cash that it's built up for even more spectrum which it could then use to supplement its growing LTE network. Unused spectrum is increasingly rare in the mobile world, and so it'll be interesting to see how this situation plays out. Stay tuned.