5G and Beyond

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).

Table 1: The full results of the FCC's C-band spectrum auction

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.

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

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