The FCC mid-band spectrum auction, which began in mid-November, has raised a staggering $44.6 billion and is not yet over, with just one of the 1,614 Advanced Wireless Service (AWS)-3 licenses still up for grabs.
The auction of the so-called "mid-band" spectrum licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz and 2155-2180 MHz bands, which will give mobile operators more capacity for 4G services, has been through 157 bidding rounds, according to the special Auction 97 website set up by the FCC.
Round 158 opens at 10 am EST Wednesday.
The auction, which will continue until there are no new bids or waivers in a given round, has pulled in way more cash than anyone had anticipated and once the bidding is complete, and details emerge of which players have won licenses, there will be very close scrutiny of the billions spent by the major wireless operators. (See FCC Mid-Band Auction to Roll On Into 2015? and The Big Spend on AWS Has Consequences.)
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading