There’s some big carrier news to help us kickstart this week in mobile, as regional operator Cincinnati Bell has announced that it will sell its wireless spectrum licenses to Verizon Wireless.
Cincinnati Bell revealed today that it has agreed to sell its spectrum licenses and other “related assets” to Verizon for a total of $210 million. Once the deal closes, Cincinnati Bell will lease back the spectrum from Verizon for 8 to 12 months so that it can wind down its wireless service and help its GSM customers switch to Verizon’s CDMA service or other carriers.
In Cincinnati Bell’s announcement of this agreement, CEO Ted Torbeck explained that the deal is a result of his company’s desire to focus more on its strategic product base. “It has become economically challenging for us to invest in our wireless business at the levels necessary to deliver best-in-class service to our customers,” Torbeck said, going on to explain that its deal with Verizon will give consumers access to high-quality wireless service whiel allowing Cincinnati Bell to better meet demand for its Fioptics products.
While Cincinnati Bell wasn’t the largest regional carrier around, it’s still a respectably-sized operator with 340,000 subscribers as of the end of 2013. This agreement is a big deal not only because it’ll see a U.S. carrier exiting the wireless game, but also because it means that Verizon has snagged itself some more spectrum. The big red carrier has been busy striking spectrum deals as of late, and this latest agreement just adds to its library of licenses.
This deal between Cincinnati Bell and Verizon Wireless is subject to the usual regulatory approval and other closing conditions. Neither carrier has said when it expects the agreement to close.