The results of the FCC's latest auction of midband spectrum are in, and now it's time to parse the data.
First, it's clear that AT&T was the big winner in the auction. The operator spent $9 billion and walked away with 40MHz of spectrum across the country – the maximum allowable amount of spectrum for any one bidder, according to the FCC's rules for the auction.
Who spent what
The chart below shows some of the prominent winners in the FCC's auction of 100MHz of spectrum between 3.45GHz and 3.55GHz, dubbed Auction 110. (However, Light Reading has been calling this the "Andromeda auction" because it sounds cool.)
As noted by the analysts at Raymond James, Three Forty-Five is backed by Columbia Capital, NewLevel is backed by Grain Management and Cherry Wireless is backed by Moise Advisory. The chart shows the amount of money each winner spent, as well as the percent of spectrum they obtained, the number of licenses they won, and their per MHz-POP spending.
Big carrier holdings
Now, with its new spectrum holdings, AT&T owns roughly the same amount of spectrum below 6GHz as Verizon does. Following the $53 billion Verizon spent last year in the FCC's C-band spectrum auction, the company did not spend any money in the FCC's newest midband spectrum auction.
The chart below shows the spectrum holdings of each of the industry's major operators as well as their total number of subscribers (at the top) and their total number of cell towers (at the bottom). The info is based on the companies' average spectrum holdings in the top 100 markets in the US. Comcast, Cox, Altice and Charter are the primary cable companies that own spectrum.
Millimeter wave spectrum holdings
Verizon still remains in the lead in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum ownership. Those spectrum bands are generally above 20GHz.
The carrier maps
But what exactly did all of the big Andromeda auction winners acquire? Sasha Javid, chief operating officer at BitPath, manages a website that has been tracking the Andromeda auction since its start. His maps show exactly which geographic licenses each operator purchased and how many of those licenses it acquired.
In the seven maps pictured below, "demand" roughly equates to the amount of spectrum the company won. For example, a "demand" value of 1 would equate to 10MHz of spectrum, while a "demand" value of 4 would equate to the maximum of 40MHz.
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