Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA announced Monday that the companies would engage in a spectrum swap in 15 of the top 25 wireless markets in the U.S.
The deal is, however, contingent upon federal approvalof an already pending multi-billion dollar transaction between Verizon and several leading cable providers — including SpectrumCo., Cox Communications, and Leap Wireless — over the licenses to AWS Spectrum, a frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum optimal for mobile communications.
The new deal between T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless marks a change in the current struggle between the two companies over rights over access to increasingly scarce supply of electromagnetic spectrum optimal for mobile wireless and Internet communications.
The deal between the two companies includes licences to AWS Spectrum, which will allow the T-Mobile USA to further develop its 4G LTE Network. T-Mobile expects the deal to be approved this summer.
T-Mobile has been aggressively lobbying against the deal between Verizon Wireless and the cable companies over the course of the past year. T-Mobile, along with various carriers and advocacy groups, formed a broader coalition in May to oppose the deal.
T-Mobile has been attempting to make the case before federal regulators that the approval of a such a deal would give Verizon Wireless an unfair advantage in a highly-competitive market. Verizon is already the lead wireless provider.
In a statement Monday, T-Mobile USA President Phillipp Humm the new deal was “good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers.”
After a failed merger with AT&T in 2011, the troubled carrier has been plagued by analyst assessments that the company is the weak link for its parent company Deutsche Telekom. The company closed several call centers across the country as part of a restructuring effort.
An analyst report in April suggested that the iPhone was essential to the carrier’s revival. T-Mobile USA is the only carrier out of the four major national carriers in the U.S. that does not currently carry the iPhone.