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Leap Wireless nets $120 million in spectrum swap with Verizon

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Leap Wireless has transferred a package of surplus AWS and PCS spectrum to Verizon in exchange for $120 million and 12MHz of 700MHz spectrum in Chicago.

Cell tower STOCK
Cell tower STOCK

Leap Wireless, which trades under the Cricket brand, has sold a portion of surplus AWS and PCS spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $120 million, with plans to invest the cash in building out its LTE infrastructure. The deal is part of a larger purchase, including a controversial acquisition of spectrum from cable companies including Comcast and Time Warner, which was authorized by the FCC earlier this month.

As well as selling, Leap Wireless is also receiving 12MHz of 700MHz A block spectrum in Chicago as part of the agreement — the package will bring Leap's total holdings of 700MHz spectrum in the city to 32MHz. According to a statement from Leap CEO Doug Hutcheson, the company expects to roll out LTE service to more than 65 percent of its current footprint within three years.