& cplSiteName &

T-Mobile, Dish & Comcast Big Winners in $19.8B 600MHz Auction

Dan Jones
4/13/2017
50%
50%

T-Mobile has made good on its promise to be the big winner in the 600Mhz low-band spectrum auction spending nearly $8 billion to grab what the operator says is 45% of the total TV spectrum on offer.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the results of the 600MHz "Incentive Auction" on Thursday afternoon, after several rounds of auctions that initially failed to reach the totals that analog TV broadcasters were asking for to relinquish the spectrum. (See FCC's 600MHz Auction Hits $10B+ in First Week and FCC's 600MHz Auction Flops Again.)

The auction raised $19.8 billion in total. This is far less than the previous $45 billion AWS-3 auction results in January 2015. (See Hey Big Spenders! AT&T, Dish & VZ Splash Cash on Spectrum.)

"Little old T-Mobile walked away with more than any other company, 45% of all the spectrum auctioned," said T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere, in a video released on Thursday. That's an average of 31MHz of the low-band spectrum nationwide.

T-Mobile US Inc. was the leading major mobile service provider bidder, putting up $7.99 billion for nationwide low-band licenses. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) spent just $910.2 million. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is listed as not bidding a cent, and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) had already said it had enough spectrum and wouldn't participate. (See T-Mobile CEO: We'll be a 600MHz Auction Winner.)

Cable and satellite TV providers were among the other big spenders. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) bid $1.72 billion and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) splashed $6.21 billion.

T-Mobile says that with the auction wins T-Mobile will be able to use the additional 600MHz spectrum to improve coverage and range on its network because lower-band radio waves travel further and penetrate walls better. This is a strategy that the operator has already been pursuing opportunistically through 600MHz spectrum buyouts and swaps.

"We expect to put this new spectrum to use for customers later this year," Legere claimed, saying 1 million square miles will be cleared for use by the end of 2017.

See the full video below:

So why did T-Mobile walk away with the most 600MHz spectrum? It is because AT&T and Verizon already operate their LTE networks on 700MHz.

As former Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said in October 2015, 600MHz and 700MHz "don't play well together," with interference concerns being paramount between the nearby bands.

AT&T and Verizon also appear to be more focused on adding high-band millimeter wave spectrum for future, gigabit 5G services rather than additional spectrum for 4G. AT&T announced that it would shell out $1.6 billion for Straight Path. (See AT&T to Flash $1.6B for Straight Path 5G Spectrum.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
4/17/2017 | 11:53:24 AM
Re: Verizon/Dish
The low-band wins by Dish don't make much sense as a bandwidth bait for buyers.
NorthwestTony
100%
0%
NorthwestTony,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/14/2017 | 6:37:06 PM
Re: Verizon/Dish
@Jim_Jackson - I tend to agree.  Low band spectrum is for coverage, which Verizon has plenty of.  Mid-band is for capacity, which Verizon needs and was prepared to pay handsomely for in the AWS-3 auction.  Dish has a sackload of unused mid-band spectrum that is exactly what Verizon wants.  But I'm not sure why Dish just bought a nationwide 5+5 nationwide footprint of 600MHz.  Maybe Charlie plans to sell the mid-band to Verizon and the 600MHz to someone who doesn't have nationwide coverage, maybe Comcast or Charter...or Alphabet...  It's fun to speculate!
DanJones
100%
0%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
4/13/2017 | 11:51:49 PM
Re: Verizon/Dish
You could be right!
Jim_Jackson
50%
50%
Jim_Jackson,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/13/2017 | 9:01:56 PM
Verizon/Dish
It's hard to see Verizon not buying Dish.  Sprint has too much spectrum so they can't buy them.  AT&T can't buy them - too many cable subscribers.  I don't see Tmobile going in that direction.
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom on what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia Introduces Virtual Service Router for More Rapid Service

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


James Cumming, product line manager for virtualized service routers at Nokia, demonstrates how the virtual router based off the Nokia ecosystem changes the network function experience.
LRTV Custom TV
The Keys to SD-WAN Success

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja talks about the key requirements for service provider-managed SD-WANs.
LRTV Custom TV
Intel & Cisco on Joint 5G Solutions

4|5|17   |     |   (0) comments


Dave Ward, SVP and CTO of Cisco, is joined by Sandra Rivera, corporate VP and general manager of network platforms group of Intel, on the revolutionary 5G technology that changes networking and computing fundamentally.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Time for a Telecom Reboot
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 4/19/2017
Comcast Ready for Clash With Hulu
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/18/2017
Unlicensed: It's What's Next for US Mobile Operators
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/19/2017
Verizon CEO Comments Feed Merger Frenzy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/18/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
Now That's an Ad Campaign Click Here
Meerkats to the rescue!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.