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T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless Swap Applications Accepted For Filing

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Released: February 7, 2014
PUBLIC NOTICE
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
445 TWELFTH STREET, S.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20554
News media information 202/418-0500 Fax-On-Demand 202/418-2830 Internet: http://www.fcc.gov ftp.fcc.gov

DA 14-163

Released: February 7, 2014

T-MOBILE USA, INC. AND CELLCO PARTNERSHIP D/B/A VERIZON WIRELESS SEEK

FCC CONSENT TO THE ASSIGNMENTS AND EXCHANGE OF

LOWER 700 MHZ, ADVANCED WIRELESS SERVICE, AND PERSONAL

COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE LICENSES

ULS File Nos. 0006090675, 0006090661, 0006090704, 0006090769, 0006090803, 0006090820,

0006090875, 0006092025, and 0006092070

PLEADING CYCLE ESTABLISHED

Petitions to Deny Due:

February 28, 2014

Oppositions Due:

March 10, 2014

Replies Due:

March 17, 2014

I.

INTRODUCTION

T-Mobile USA, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) and Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless (“Verizon
Wireless,” and together with T-Mobile, the “Applicants”) have filed applications pursuant to section
310(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,1 seeking the simultaneous assignments and
exchanges of Lower 700 MHz A Block, Advanced Wireless Service (“AWS-1”), and Personal
Communications Service (“PCS”) licenses by and among T-Mobile License LLC (a wholly-owned
subsidiary of T-Mobile) and Verizon Wireless and certain of its subsidiaries.2 The subject licenses cover
geographic areas throughout the United States. The proposed transactions involve the transfer of
spectrum; no customers or networks would be transferred.
The Applicants assert that the proposed transactions would provide T-Mobile with low-band
spectrum associated with significant population coverage for the first time. According to the Applicants,
T-Mobile expects that its acquisition of this low-band spectrum would increase the reliability,
performance, and coverage of its network in specific markets, particularly improving in-building
penetration in urban areas and coverage in suburban and rural areas. The Applicants further assert that
the transactions would enable Verizon Wireless to add AWS-1 and PCS capacity in a number of markets
and to operate more efficiently due to holding larger blocks of contiguous spectrum and/or aligning
spectrum blocks with those already held in adjacent markets.
The Applicants would implement the proposed spectrum assignments and exchanges through two
separate and non-contingent private agreements. Pursuant to a License Purchase Agreement (“LPA”),


1 47 U.S.C. § 310(d).
2 Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC (“VAW”) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Verizon Wireless; Athens Cellular, Inc.
is a majority-owned subsidiary of VAW; and Verizon Wireless of the East LP, a limited partnership, is a majority-
owned subsidiary of Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless would assign 15 Lower 700 MHz A Block licenses to T-Mobile in exchange for a cash
payment. Pursuant to the other agreement – the License Exchange Agreement (“LEA”) – Verizon
Wireless would assign to T-Mobile eight additional Lower 700 MHz A Block licenses as well as certain
full and partitioned AWS-1 and full PCS licenses in exchange for T-Mobile assigning certain full,
disaggregated, and partitioned AWS-1 and PCS licenses to Verizon Wireless. Preliminary review of the
applications indicates that the spectrum implicated by the LPA and the LEA together covers 713 counties
in all or parts of 224 Cellular Market Areas (“CMAs”), covering roughly 150 million people, or roughly
50 percent of the population of the United States.
T-Mobile would be assigned 12 megahertz of Lower 700 MHz A Block spectrum in all or parts
of 220 CMAs covering approximately 149 million people, or approximately 48 percent of the population
of the United States. Post-transaction, across all the CMAs involved in these transactions, T-Mobile
would hold 32 to 112 megahertz of spectrum in total.
For its part, Verizon Wireless would end up with increased holdings of PCS and AWS-1
spectrum in a number of CMAs as a result of the proposed transfer and exchange of certain PCS and
AWS-1 spectrum licenses. With respect to PCS spectrum, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless would assign
and exchange 10 to 20 megahertz of spectrum in 73 counties in parts or all of 23 CMAs, covering
approximately 20 million people or approximately seven percent of the population of the United States.
In all 23 CMAs, Verizon Wireless would be increasing its holdings of PCS spectrum by 10 megahertz.
With respect to AWS-1 spectrum, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless would assign and exchange 10 to 40
megahertz in 52 counties in parts or all of 20 CMAs, covering approximately 36 million people or
approximately 12 percent of the population of the United States. In 19 of the 20 CMAs, Verizon Wireless
would be increasing its holdings of AWS-1 spectrum by 10 to 20 megahertz; in the remaining CMA
(CMA 27 (San Jose, California)), the two entities would exchange an equal amount of AWS-1 spectrum
(30 megahertz). Post-transaction, Verizon Wireless would hold 30 to 40 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum
in these 20 CMAs. Across all the CMAs involved in these transactions, Verizon Wireless would hold 52
to 152 megahertz of spectrum in total.

II.

SECTION 310(d) APPLICATIONS

The applications for the assignment of licenses have been assigned the following file numbers:

File No.

Licensee/Assignor

Assignee

Lead Call Sign

00060906753
Cellco Partnership
T-Mobile License LLC
WQJQ698
0006090661
Cellco Partnership
T-Mobile License LLC
WQJQ696
0006090704
Cellco Partnership
T-Mobile License LLC
KNLG306
0006090769
Cellco Partnership
T-Mobile License LLC
WQPZ960
0006090803
Athens Cellular, Inc.
T-Mobile License LLC
KNLG605
0006090820
Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC
T-Mobile License LLC
KNLG285
0006090875
Verizon Wireless of the East LP
T-Mobile License LLC
WPWH652
0006092025
T-Mobile License LLC
Cellco Partnership
KNLF556
0006092070
T-Mobile License LLC
Cellco Partnership
KNLF561


3 The Applicants have designated ULS File No. 0006090675 as the lead application.
2

III.

EX PARTE

STATUS OF THIS PROCEEDING

Pursuant to section 1.1200(a) of the Commission’s rules,4 the Commission may adopt modified or
more stringent ex parte procedures in particular proceedings if the public interest so requires. We
announce that this proceeding will be governed by permit-but-disclose ex parte procedures that are
applicable to non-restricted proceedings under section 1.1206 of the Commission’s rules.5
Parties making oral ex parte presentations are directed to the Commission’s ex parte rules.
Parties are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must contain the presentation’s
substance and not merely list the subjects discussed.6 More than a one- or two-sentence description of the
views and arguments presented is generally required.7 Other rules pertaining to oral and written
presentations are set forth in section 1.1206(b) as well.8

IV.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The assignment applications have been found, upon initial review, to be acceptable for filing.
The Commission reserves the right to return any application if, upon further examination, it is determined
to be defective and not in conformance with the Commission’s rules or policies.
Interested parties must file petitions to deny no later than

February 28, 2014

. Persons and
entities that file petitions to deny become parties to the proceeding. They may participate fully in the
proceeding, including seeking access to any confidential information that may be filed under a protective
order, seeking reconsideration of decisions, and filing appeals of a final decision to the courts.
Oppositions to such pleadings must be filed no later than

March 10, 2014

. Replies to such pleadings
must be filed no later than

March 17, 2014

. All filings concerning matters referenced in this Public
Notice should refer to ULS File Nos. 0006090675, 0006090661, 0006090704, 0006090769, 0006090803,
0006090820, 0006090875, 0006092025, and/or 0006092070, as appropriate.

To allow the Commission to consider fully all substantive issues regarding the applications in

as timely and efficient a manner as possible, petitioners and commenters should raise all issues in
their initial filings. New issues may not be raised in responses or replies.9 A party or interested
person seeking to raise a new issue after the pleading cycle has closed must show good cause why it
was not possible for it to have raised the issue previously. Submissions after the pleading cycle has
closed that seek to raise new issues based on new facts or newly discovered facts should be filed
within 15 days after such facts are discovered. Absent such a showing of good cause, any issues not
timely raised may be disregarded by the Commission.

Under the Commission’s current procedures for the submission of filings and other documents,10
submissions in this matter may be filed electronically though the Commission’s Universal Licensing
System (“ULS”) or by hand delivery to the Commission.


4 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200(a).
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206.
6 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b)(1).
7 See id.
8 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b).
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.45(c).
10 See FCC Announces Change in Filing Location for Paper Documents, Public Notice, 24 FCC Rcd 14312 (2009).
3

·

To file electronically

, visit the ULS web site at http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/ and click on the
“Submit a Pleading” link, complete the administrative information, and upload your pleading.
·

To file by paper

, the original and four copies of each filing must be filed by hand or messenger
delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail.
All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be
delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., S.W., Room TW-A325, Washington, D.C. 20554.
The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held
together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the
building. Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal
Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20554. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of
the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
One copy of each pleading must be delivered electronically, by e-mail or facsimile, or if delivered
as paper copy, by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or
overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (according to the procedures set forth above for paper filings), to:
(1) the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., at FCC@BCPIWEB.COM or
(202) 488-5563 (facsimile); (2) Scott Patrick, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau,
at scott.patrick@fcc.gov or (202) 418-7447 (facsimile); (3) Linda Ray, Broadband Division, Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, at linda.ray@fcc.gov or (202) 418-7247 (facsimile); (4) Kate Matraves,
Spectrum and Competition Policy Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at
catherine.matraves@fcc.gov or (202) 418-7447 (facsimile); and (5) Jim Bird, Office of General Counsel,
at TransactionTeam@fcc.gov or (202) 418-1234 (facsimile).
Copies of the applications and any subsequently-filed documents in this matter may be obtained
from Best Copy and Printing, Inc. in person at 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C.
20554, via telephone at (202) 488-5300, via facsimile at (202) 488-5563, or via email at
FCC@BCPIWEB.COM. The applications and any associated documents are also available for public
inspection and copying during normal reference room hours at the following Commission office: FCC
Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-A257, Washington, D.C. 20554. The
applications are also available electronically through ULS, which may be accessed on the Commission’s
Internet website. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large
print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice) or (202) 418-0432 (TTY). Contact the FCC to
request reasonable accommodations for filing comments (accessible format documents, sign language
interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov; phone: (202) 418-0530 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.
For further information, contact Scott Patrick, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau, at (202) 418-2853, or Kate Matraves, Spectrum and Competition Policy Division, Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, at (202) 391-6272.
-FCC-
4

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