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Leap and Verizon Wireless agree to trade spectrum

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Verizon Wireless is exchanging 12MHz of unused 700MHz spectrum for a chunk of AWS and PCS spectrum from Cricket's parent company, Leap Wireless.

Cellphone Tower (Flickr)
Cellphone Tower (Flickr)

Verizon Wireless continues to make deals to expand its network: after buying 122 AWS licenses from SpectrumCo last week, it's exchanging 12MHz of unused 700MHz spectrum in Chicago for a chunk of AWS and PCS spectrum from Cricket's parent company, Leap Wireless. We reported before the weekend on a FCC filing suggesting that this deal wouldn't have any cash involved, but after all is said and done, Leap will end up with an additional $100 million in the bank to build out its LTE network in Chicago. Combined with the SpectrumCo deal, it certainly appears that Verizon is planning to expand its LTE network to AWS as well as 700MHz, but we'll see what happens. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval, but the FCC has indicated it'll approve the similar sale of Qualcomm's MediaFLO spectrum to AT&T, so we'd expect this one will pass through. We'll let you know.