Verizon CFO: Our 700 MHz spectrum sale is not a 'fire sale'

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) said it has many parties interested in purchasing its 700 MHz lower A and B Block spectrum, but company CFO and EVP Fran Shammo told investors on the company's quarterly earnings call that the spectrum is not a "fire sale." And if Verizon does not get the price it wants for the spectrum, Shammo said Verizon will put it to use.

"If we don't get fair value, we will use it internally," he said.

Verizon said in August that there were 64 companies interested in buying the spectrum. However, no deals have yet been announced. Some of the companies rumored to be interested in the spectrum include AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and U.S. Cellular. Shammo said the bidding process for the spectrum is complex and a lot of work still has to be done.

Shammo said he expects the company to be able to provide more details on the spectrum sale later this year or early next year. In addition, he said that any spectrum transactions will have to get FCC approval, which means they won't close until the third or fourth quarter of next year.

Verizon agreed to sell its 700 MHz Lower A and B Block spectrum if the FCC  approved its $3.9 billion purchase of AWS spectrum from a group of cable companies. The FCC approved the deal in August.

For more:
- see this transcript of the earnings call

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