AWS-3 Spectrum Auction Over, Bids Total $44.89 Billion
The FCC today said Auction 97, which covered blocks of spectrum in the AWS-3 band, is now over. It received a final bid today for the 1695-1710MHz unpaired spectrum band just a day after it closed bids for the G, H, I, and J paired spectrum blocks. The AWS-3 auction encompassed 65MHz of spectrum in the 1695-1710MHz band (unpaired), and the 1755-1780MH and 2155-2180MHz bands (paired). The paired blocks saw the most action, especially the J Block, which offered a 10x10MHz block in large metro areas. After 341 rounds, the AWS-3 auction has generated winning bids totaling $44.899 billion — more than four times the reserve price for the auction. The FCC hasn't yet said which companies won the auction. AT&T and Verizon Wireless are most likely to have won the bulk of 1,600 available licenses, though T-Mobile, Dish Networks, and 66 other entities were bidding on the licenses.
FCC Awards Spectrum Licenses to AWS-3 Bidders
The FCC today officially granted some winning bidders in the AWS-3 spectrum auction the licenses allowing them to take ownership of the airwaves. The AWS-3 spectrum auction concluded earlier this year, with AT&T, Dish Networks, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless the top four bidders.
FCC Hands Out More AWS-3 Licenses to Auction Winners
The FCC has delivered more licenses to winners of the AWS-3 spectrum auction, which concluded earlier this year. The bulk of licenses granted this week were given to Orion Wireless LLC and Geneseo Communications Services, and cover areas of Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Dish's Designated Entities Give Up 197 Spectrum Licenses
Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless LicenseCo surrendered 197 AWS-3 spectrum licenses and paid a $413 million fine to the FCC for defaulting on their $3.3 billion payment. Dish Networks participated in this year's auction through Northstar and SNR.
3GPP Approves Band 66 for AWS Support
Dish Networks today said the 3GPP has approved the designation of Band 66, which encompasses a significant swath of AWS spectrum owned by Dish. Specifically, Band 66 pairs 70 MHz of uplink spectrum with 90 MHz of downlink spectrum in the AWS-1, AWS-3, and AWS-4 bands.
Duopoly gets bigger
With this massive win by AT&T and Verizon, I hope the FCC states, "Okay, you have more than enough, you are no longer in a spectrum crunch, so you need not bid on 600Mhz spectrum, you have more than enough spectrum in all bands to last you for a few decades" and then let T-Mobile, Sprint and USCC scoop it up.
That's not going to happen. The only stipulation for purchasing spectrum should be that the winner must actually use the spectrum rather than hoard it, effectively freezing out its competitors.