700 MHz winners reveal plans, no big surprises yet

Now that the FCC anti-collusion restrictions have been lifted, some 700 MHz spectrum winners are champing at the bit to talk about their plans and tout their newly achieved spectral positions. So far there have been few surprises.  

Verizon Wireless executives this morning assured investors their $9.36 billion investment in 700 MHz spectrum will provide a long-term foundation for Verizon's business. (The carrier spent about half of that figure on C Block licenses and the other half on an additional 102 licenses across the country.) Verizon Wireless said that this year it will be conducting field trials of LTE. In 2009 it will select vendors, conduct some advanced device trials with a deployment planned for the second half of that year. By 2010 the operator plans to launch commercially and have rapid acceleration of its footprint.

Meanwhile AT&T, which spent $6.6 billion in the 700 MHz auction for B-block licenses, will also deploy LTE. The new B-block spectrum will be combined with AT&T's spectrum it acquired from Aloha Partners last year. Kris Rinne, senior vice president, architecture and planning at AT&T told the audience at Wednesday's FierceMarkets Path to 4G conference that the company will likely deploy LTE in the 2010 time frame.  

Meanwhile Qualcomm, which spent a total of $558.1 million on E- and  B-block licenses, said that it will use its licenses to enhance its MediaFLO broadcast TV service.

For more, see these releases:
- Verizon
- AT&T
- Qualcomm

CORRECTION: Verizon Wireless did not spend $9.36 billion on the C Block licenses--the figure was the amount the carrier paid for all the 700 MHz it acquires: the majority of the C Block as well as 102 additional licenses.