$44.9 Billion raised by FCC in U.S. Wireless Spectrum Auction

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In the U.S., The Federal Communications Commission’s biggest ever auction of wireless spectrum has ended drawing a record $44.9 billion in bids.

A total of $44.899 billion was bid in the auction. After taking into account certain discounts that were allowed, the net proceeds add up to a little more than $41.3 billion.

The big winner in the auction was AT&T, who won J Block (paired spectrum at 1770-1780, and 2170-2180MHz) with a total of 251 licenses. AT&T was the big bidder at $18.2 billion. All told, AT&T bought itself a nearly contiguous 10x10MHz block of spectrum which covers approximately 96 of the top 100 markets.

Verizon was the second largest bidder, spending $10.4 billion on 181 licenses in the aforementioned J Block, as well as in the H Block (1760-1765 and 2160-2165MHz) and I Block (1765-1770 and 2165-2170MHz).

[table style=”table-striped”]

Bidder Bidding nameTotal amount spentPrice per MHz-POP
1AT&TAT&T Wireless Services 3 LLC$18,189,285,000$2.88
2Verizon Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon$10,430,017,000$2.92
3Dish Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless LicenseCo$9,995,567,775
($13,327,423,700 in gross bids plus a 25 percent discount for being designated entities)
4T-MobileT-Mobile License LLC$1,774,023,000$1.63
5U.S. CellularAdvantage Spectrum, L.P.$338,304,000
6John A. Dooley and
TerreStar and
2014 AWS Spectrum Bidco$291,810,000
7America Movil and
Carlos Slim Family
Puerto Rico Telephone Company$170,901,300
8William M. Mounger IITristar License Group$47,106,000
9Francis J. DiRicoNE Colorado Cellular$30,718,000
10Joseph SofioSofio, Joseph A$13,483,500

The big surprise in the auction was the DISH Network, who bid nearly $10 billion. That figure includes discounts for its designated bidding entities Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless. In all, Northstar got 345 licenses, and SNR Wireless won 357 licenses on different blocks, with some in major markets like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

T-Mobile won 157 licenses in the 5x5MHz paired spectrum in various blocks across the country. The smaller pairings give Team Magenta the ability to aggregate with its existing AWS-1 holdings.

Each winning bidder must have on deposit with the FCC enough funds to cover the down payments on its winning bids by 6 p.m Eastern Time on February 13.

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