Cox agrees to sell wireless spectrum to Verizon

December 16, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Cable company Cox Communications on Friday said that it has agreed to sell some of its airwave licenses to Verizon Wireless for $315 million and will resell Verizon service in its stores.

The deal mimics on struck between and three other cable companies two weeks ago. Comcast, and Bright House Networks gave up their ambitions to run their own wireless network and signed co-marketing agreements with Verizon.

Unlike the other cable companies, Cox had taken steps to use its spectrum. But it gave up on its plans to build a wireless network earlier this year, saying it couldn't compete with bigger cellphone companies.

Privately held Cox is the third-largest cable company in the country. It is based in Atlanta and has about 6 million customers.

The spectrum Cox is selling is in the same frequency band as the licenses the other cable companies agreed to sell, which makes it easier for Verizon Wireless to put it to use. It covers 28 million people, chiefly in areas where Cox provides cable service.

Cox also has spectrum in another frequency band, which is not part of the deal.

Spectrum sales are subject to approval by the .

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of phone company Inc. of New York and Vodafone Group PLC of Britain. An odd consequence of the deals the cable companies is that Verizon Wireless stores will be selling cable TV service, in competition with Verizon Communications' own FiOS TV service.

Verizon Communications shares edged up 23 cents to $38.65 in midday trading.

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