Menu
AT&T will pay $18.2B as top bidder in mobile spectrum auction

AT&T will pay $18.2B as top bidder in mobile spectrum auction

Dish Network will pay about $10 billion, but its plans for the spectrum are unclear

AT&T spent nearly US$18.2 billion on wireless spectrum licenses in a blockbuster mobile-auction spectrum for licenses across the U.S., far outspending the other major U.S. carriers and satellite service provider Dish Network.

The AWS-3 auction, the biggest sale of mobile spectrum since 2008, went on for about two and a half months and brought in a far higher total than expected.

The auction raised $41.3 billion in net bids, which will go toward the FirstNet national public-safety network and some national debt reduction. The bidding on 1,611 spectrum licenses around the U.S. far exceeded expectations, indicating that mobile operators are still eager to build up capacity in their networks.

The three bands of AWS-3 spectrum, totaling 65MHz, will let mobile operators add more capacity to their LTE networks, serving more subscribers with faster service. AT&T said the licenses it acquired would give it a block of spectrum covering 96 percent of the U.S. population, which the carrier plans to deploy starting around 2017.

Verizon Wireless was the second-biggest bidder, laying out $10.4 billion, and T-Mobile USA, the nation's fourth-largest mobile operator, bid $1.8 billion. They're key rivals to AT&T for LTE services. But the motives of the second-place bidder, Dish Network, are less clear. Through affiliate companies, Dish bid a total of about $10 billion even though it doesn't yet operate a mobile service. Some analysts suspect the company hopes to either partner with an existing carrier or just lease the spectrum to other operators.

On Thursday, the FCC announced the auction had brought in provisional bids of $44.9 billion. The net amount disclosed on Friday accounts for factors such as bidding credits to some types of bidders.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationat&tVerizon WirelessT-Mobile USADISH Network

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments