Verizon wants to expand its XLTE network by acquiring spectrum from Dish

Verizon Wireless recently activated its AWS spectrum to offer faster 4G LTE speeds in several markets around the United States, but that’s not enough. A report from the New York Post recently said that Verizon is interested in scooping up even more spectrum from Dish Network. The additional spectrum could allow Verizon to offer quicker speeds, likely in areas where it plans to launch its “XLTE” branded network. The New York Post said that Verizon executives recently explained the intentions to try to acquire Dish Network spectrum in a recent insider meeting, though word apparently escaped out to a banker, perhaps at a firm that has been tapped to finance the deal. The news outlet said discussions aren’t advanced yet, though, and suggests that Verizon is still floating around the idea. Still, the New York Post suggested Verizon may bite at the deal before Dish makes a possible bid for T-Mobile, a carrier that Sprint/SoftBank is also interested in acquiring.

Verizon Wireless is very interested in buying Dish Network’s spectrum, The Post has learned. A top Verizon executive told a group of insiders in the last few weeks that the country’s No. 1 wireless carrier was eyeing the lucrative spectrum owned by Charlie Ergen’s satellite-TV company, a banker with direct knowledge of the conversation said. Analysts have estimated Dish’s spectrum could be worth as much as $17 billion. A second source close to the companies said the two companies have held informal, early talks about the spectrum. Verizon’s appetite comes only weeks after it tried to quiet deal rumors. CEO Lowell McAdam on May 20 said during an investor conference that Verizon was not interested in buying the $27 billion Dish. “I don’t think owning a satellite company is something I’m interested in at this point,” McAdam said. The CEO did not address Dish’s valuable spectrum. Acquiring the bandwidths would help Verizon better stream videos in urban areas. Plus, much of Dish’s spectrum is complementary to spectrum Verizon presently owns, a source said. Much of Dish’s spectrum is important for short-range Wi-Fi communications. The pressure may be building for Verizon to act soon. The Federal Communications Commission last month set guidelines for selling government-owned spectrum and imposed rules that would make it harder — and more expensive — for the New York telecom to compete in those fall auctions.

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