Panhandle acquires 700MHz licence from Verizon

20 Nov 2012

Verizon Wireless has announced that it has agreed to sell a 700MHz B Block licence – covering the Texas RSA 2-Hansford market area – to regional operator Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, which is based in Guymon, Oklahoma. The transfer of the concession, which covers twelve counties in north-west Texas, is subject to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval.

TeleGeography notes that the deal is the second to be formally confirmed by Verizon as the long-awaited sale process for its unwanted 700MHz spectrum assets gets underway, following a deal with Nortex Communications last week, also covering Texas. Further announcements are anticipated however, with the mobile giant indicating that ‘it has sold or has agreed to sell 26 of its lower 700MHz spectrum licences to nine different telecommunications companies operating in 13 states’.

In August Verizon indicated that as many as 64 companies had expressed an interest in buying its 700MHz Lower A and B Block spectrum. The mobile giant deemed the frequencies surplus to requirements, and sought to offload them as soon as the FCC formally approved its long-running USD3.9 billion purchase of a nationwide allocation of AWS spectrum from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between cablecos Comcast Corporation, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Panhandle is no stranger to the LTE market; in March this year it launched 4G services in rural Oklahoma under the ‘Bonfire’ brand.