Hot on the heels of its $3.6 billion LTE spectrum acquisition from the cable industry's SpectrumCo consortium, Verizon is looping back to pick up another $316 million worth from Cox Communications. You might recall that Cox recently decided to fold its nascent mobile business, citing a general inability to compete — wireless is a tough nut to crack, after all — leaving it with a cache of spectrum in the AWS band that it had no use for. Cox had previously been a member of SpectrumCo but the two parted ways in 2009, leaving both entities with licenses that Verizon will be unifying by acquiring both blocks. The two deals mean that Verizon will be splitting its LTE deployment across two bands; currently, it only operates in the 700MHz range.
As with the SpectrumCo deal, the Cox purchase has a provision that allows both entities to resell each others' services — and "over time," Cox may have the option to become a wholesale distributor of Verizon service under its own brand. The deal is subject to FCC approval, but regardless of what ultimately happens, existing Cox wireless customers are guaranteed service through March 30th of next year.