AWS-3 Spectrum Auction Over, Bids Total $44.89 Billion
Article Comments 9
Jan 29, 2015, 11:22 AM by Eric M. Zeman
updated Jan 29, 2015, 11:51 AM
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.
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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.