Verizon Wireless and Comcast will begin marketing each other’s products in Seattle and Portland, Ore., to sell bundles of wireless, cable TV, landline and residential Internet services, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Verizon/Comcast partnership was announced in early December and was part of a deal in which Comcast and two other cable companies, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, sold wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion.
The marketing effort involves Verizon selling Comcast’s Xfinity products in its stores and Comcast selling Verizon Wireless service through call centers and online sites. It will expand into other markets this year and into 2013. The promotion in Seattle and Portland includes a prepaid Visa card of $100 to $300 for those who sign up for Verizon Wireless/Xfinity bundles.
Cable operators have been reselling Clearwire’s WiMAX services in partnership with Sprint Nextel. They invested over $1.6 Billion in Clearwire. Comcast and Time Warner Cable will stop reselling Clearwire’s 4G wireless service following the closing of the AWS spectrum deal with Verizon, the company will become the cable providers’ exclusive partner, said Time Warner Cable spokesman Alexander Dudley.
According to Neil Smit, President, Comcast Cable, four years from signing, Comcast could become a reseller of Verizon Wireless’ service through a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement. Comcast could then purchase wireless service at wholesale rates and sell its own, branded wireless service.
The Verizon-SpectrumCo deal is expected to get approval. The carrier may then combine the spectrum with its other AWS holdings for 20 MHz channels, which coupled with LTE-Advanced technology could give it significant throughput gains. First, however, Verizon Wireless has to build and open their AWS spectrum. That could take years. Currently, Verizon only offers LTE on the 700 MHz band.
The $3.6 billion Verizon/Cable deal values the spectrum purchased at $0.69 per MHz-POP (the number of people covered by each megahertz). That’s a big jump from the $0.45 per MHz-POP that cable operators paid in 2006.
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