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AT&T, Dish win big in Andromeda auction, Verizon gets nothing

The results of the FCC's auction of midband spectrum between 3.45GHz and 3.55GHz are in: AT&T spent $9 billion, Dish spent $7.3 billion, T-Mobile spent $2.9 billion. And Verizon spent nothing.

Mike Dano

January 14, 2022

5 Min Read
AT&T, Dish win big in Andromeda auction, Verizon gets nothing

AT&T and Dish Network walked away with the bulk of spectrum licenses up for grabs in the FCC's latest spectrum auction. AT&T agreed to spend roughly $9 billion on midband spectrum licenses for 5G, while Dish agreed to spend $7.3 billion.

Those results are mostly in line with analyst expectations.

T-Mobile agreed to spend almost $3 billion on spectrum licenses in the auction.

Interestingly, Verizon did not purchase any licenses. That's noteworthy considering Verizon spent more than $50 billion on licenses in the FCC's previous auction, of C-band spectrum, that ended last year. The company is planning to light up a network on that spectrum in the next few days.

Other winners in the auction, as disclosed by the FCC, include private equity companies like Grain Management and Columbia Capital, as well as a number of smaller investors and rural telecom providers.

Bidder

Bidding entity

Winning bids

Licenses won

AT&T

AT&T Auction Holdings, LLC

$9 billion

1,624

Dish Network

Weminuche L.L.C.

$7.3 billion

1,232

T-Mobile

T-Mobile License LLC

$2.9 billion

199

Columbia Capital

Three Forty-Five Spectrum, LLC

$1.4 billion

18

Uscellular

United States Cellular Corporation

$580 million

380

Whitewater Wireless II, L.P.

$428 million

14

Grain Management

NewLevel III, L.P. 0

$376 million

8

Moise Advisory

Cherry Wireless, LLC

$211 million

319

N Squared Wireless, LLC

$101.8 million

55

Skylake Wireless II, LLC

$39 million

57

Blue Ridge Wireless LLC

$8.9 million

39

Agri-Valley Communications

Agri-Valley Communications

$8 million

7

LICT

LICT Wireless Broadband Company, LLC

$7.7 million

24

Viaero

NE Colorado Cellular, Inc.

$6.7 million

18

Nsight

Nsight Spectrum, LLC

$4.7 million

6

East Kentucky Network

East Kentucky Network, LLC

$4.4 million

2

Carolina West Wireless

Carolina West Wireless, Inc.

$3.8 million

11

PVT

PVT Networks, Inc.

$2 million

6

Chat Mobility

RSA 1 Limited Partnership

$1.7 million

1

Raptor Wireless LLC

$845,700

6

Horry Telephone

Horry Telephone

$88,060

12

PocketiNet

PocketiNet Communications

$59,501

1

Jones, Anthony L

$1,575

2

Bidder identity included where available.
Source: FCC

The bidding portion of the FCC's auction, dubbed the "Andromeda auction" by Light Reading because it sounds cool, ended in November with a total of around $22 billion in winning bids. The agency on Friday released the identity of the winning bidders. The auction released 100MHz of midband spectrum between 3.45GHz and 3.55GHz. The event, dubbed Auction 110 by the FCC, started October 5.

The FCC's Andromeda auction is the agency's third-biggest spectrum auction ever. As noted by Next TV, only the $45 billion AWS-3 auction in 2015 and the $81 billion C-band auction last year generated more in winning bids.

The value of the spectrum licenses in the Andromeda auction could rise if interference concerns continue to drag on the C-band.

However, to put their licenses to use, Andromeda auction winners must purchase new radios that are capable of broadcasting signals in the 3.45GHz-3.55GHz band.

Smartphones may be a different matter, however. Executives from component supplier Resonant suggested that current smartphones that support the C-band might also be able to support 5G transmissions in the new 3.45GHz-3.55GHz band that's currently being auctioned. That's because both bands fall into the 3GPP's n77 technical standard, which stretches from 3.3GHz to 4.2GHz.

Related posts:

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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