Light Reading
The FCC raises $3.7B in the early stages of the 700 MHz auction

The 700 MHz Race

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
1/25/2008
50%
50%

The 700 MHz race got off to a billion-dollar start this week with 216 applicants bidding for a piece of the last major spectrum allocation suitable for wireless broadband services that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is likely to offer for the foreseeable future.

The memorably titled "Auction 73" started Thursday morning with a total of $2.4 billion in "provisionally winning bids" (PWBs) for the A,B,C, and D 700 MHz bands. By the fourth round, on Friday afternoon, the PWB pot had grown to $3.7 billion.

The auction is, however, likely still in the early stages. The similar advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum auctions in 2006 eventually garned $13.7 billion for the U.S. Treasury after more than 160 rounds. (See The Auctions Endeth.)

Indeed, the total winning bids do not yet even reach the aggregate reserve of $4.6 billion set for the flagship C-band by the FCC late last year. (See Google Confirms 700MHz Bid.)

To prevent potential bid-rigging and collusion between the players, the FCC isn't saying which companies are bidding on the spectrum. Nonetheless, big wireless and IT names like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless , and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) are among the players expected to put up the big bucks. (See FCC Names 700 MHz Applicants.) There has been some debate as to whether the jittery state of the economy and U.S. stock markets will put a damper on the auction. It is still too soon say.

Nonetheless, the 700 MHz spectrum is prized for its long range and good building penetration qualities, even if it offers less bandwidth to deploy a nationwide network than current cellular radio waves.

And for the eventual winners, the cost of the spectrum will only be the first major outlay if they hope to deploy large-scale networks:

"Assuming the C Block licenses sell at or around their aggregate reserve price of $4.6 billion, and then assuming $20 per person in capex for the network rollout, it would cost a minimum of $10 billion to meet the 75 percent of population coverage requirement," notes Unstrung Insider analyst Gabriel Brown in a recent article on the band. "In reality, it's likely to cost much more than that to create a network that, regardless of technology, will have substantially less capacity than today's 2G and 3G networks." (See Outlook Mixed for WiMax at 700 MHz.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed