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Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile: Here are the C-band auction results

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile walked away with the vast majority of the C-band licenses for 5G. Dish Network spent just $2.5 million, while Comcast and Charter spent nothing.

Mike Dano

February 24, 2021

4 Min Read
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile: Here are the C-band auction results

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile walked away with the vast majority of the C-band licenses up for grabs in the FCC's blockbuster midband spectrum auction.

As expected, Verizon spent the most: a whopping $45.5 billion for around 3,500 total licenses. According to the financial analysts at Evercore, Verizon acquired an average of 160MHz of spectrum across the entire US. The operator announced a $25 billion loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank to help pay for the licenses.

AT&T came in second by spending $23.4 billion for 1,621 licenses. According to Evercore, AT&T netted 80MHz in 95% of the country, with the remainder split between 60MHz and 100MHz. T-Mobile, meanwhile, spent $9.3 billion for 142 licenses, which cover around 68% of the US population.

Comcast and Charter, bidding jointly, spent nothing. In fact, the companies didn't even place any bids. Dish Network spent just $2.5 million for the license covering Cheyenne, Wyoming.

As for the valuable A Block C-band licenses, which ought to be available toward the end of this year, Verizon won most of those. The operator walked away with around 60% of those licenses, according to Evercore, while AT&T walked away with around 40%. The other B and C Block licenses generally won't be available until 2023.

There were a few surprises, though. Private equity company Grain Management spent $1.3 billion, while Canopy Spectrum spent $172 million. As Light Reading previously reported, Canopy is a venture between Jennifer Fritzsche (a former Wells Fargo analyst) and Edward Moise Jr. (a longtime spectrum investor).

Company

Bidding entity

Net Payment

Verizon

Cellco Partnership

$45,454,843,197

AT&T

AT&T Spectrum Frontiers LLC

$23,406,860,839

T-Mobile

T-Mobile License LLC

$9,336,125,147

UScellular

United States Cellular Corporation

$1,282,641,542

Grain Management (private equity)

NewLevel II, L.P

$1,277,395,688

Canopy Spectrum

Canopy Spectrum, LLC

$172,021,760

C Spire

Cellular South Licenses, LLC

$49,850,284

Widespread Wireless

Widespread Wireless, LLC

$48,455,001

Pioneer Telephone Cooperative

Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc

$20,104,200

Carolina West Wireless

Carolina West Wireless, Inc

$15,780,658

Nex-Tech

Nex-Tech Wireless, L.L.C.

$10,339,437

East Kentucky Network

East Kentucky Network, LLC

$7,374,390

Horry Telephone Cooperative

Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc

$6,492,586

Smith Bagley

Smith Bagley, Inc

$5,640,183

Nsight

Nsight Spectrum, LLC

$5,424,123

LICT Wireless

LICT Wireless Broadband Company, LLC

$4,267,485

Agri-Valley Communications

Agri-Valley Communications

$4,178,141

Union Wireless

Union Telephone Company

$2,655,060

Dish Network

Little Bear Wireless L.L.C.

$2,510,020

Grand River Communications, Inc.

Grand River Communications, Inc.

$1,351,670

Granite Wireless

Granite Wireless LLC

$170,510

Source: The FCC

As expected, top winners are already scheduling analyst days to discuss their new C-band strategies. T-Mobile will host a three-hour analyst day on March 11 at 2PM ET, while Verizon will host its own analyst day on March 10 at 6PM ET.

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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