Cincinnati Bell is shutting down its mobile network, selling spectrum to Verizon

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Regional network Cincinnati Bell has announced its wireless spectrum will be sold to Verizon, along with other parts of the network’s mobile business, for a total of $210 million. The news comes in a statement published on the network’s website, and is the latest mid-level acquisition made by America’s largest mobile companies.

This means in the near future, the network will close down its wireless operations, concentrating instead on other services, such as fixed phones and broadband Internet. If your mobile is connected to Cincinnati Bell, the deal will affect you. Ted Torbeck, CEO of the network, said in a statement that customers don’t need to take any action at this time, but confirms there are changes ahead.

Although the wireless licenses will be sold to Verizon, Cincinnati Bell will be leasing them back for a limited amount of time – eight to twelve months, according to the statement – to continue providing coverage for its customers. During this time, the wireless part of the company will be slowly closed, and assistance will be given to customers moving their contracts or connection over to Verizon Wireless or other wireless providers.”

It’s still early days, so more information will be shared over the coming months, but it’s all expected to be wrapped up by the end of this year. One thing is for sure, if you’re a Cincinnati Bell customer, you’ll be looking for a new provider before 2015. Why has it sold up? Torbeck says it became “economically challenging” to keep the network running up to a high enough standard, and by getting out of the mobile space, it’ll be able to invest more in its growing fiber optics program.

He was more forthcoming in an interview with the Cincinnati Business Courier, saying “our business has been in decline for five or six years,” and added that it’s “absolutely the right time to make this deal.” In the same piece, it’s also mentioned that Cincinatti Bell retail stores will go on to sell Verizon equipment once the sale is complete.

Verizon gains a healthy chunk of wireless spectrum, increasing its overall capacity, and the deal comes almost a year after T-Mobile snapped up MetroPCS.