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|
|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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