FCC's Monster Auction Ends at $45B in Bids

The Advanced Wireless Services-3 (AWS-3) auction closed at $44.89 billion in total bids Thursday. The FCC had set an initial reserve price of $10 billion.

At stake was a swathe of nationwide spectrum suitable for high-speed data wireless services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auctioned off 65MHz of spectrum in the 1.7GHz and 2.1GHz bands, including 50MHz of paired channels for LTE uplink and downlink. (See Mid-Band's No Turkey! FCC Auction Tops $38B.)

Need to know more about 4G? Visit Light Reading's 4G/LTE channel.

Seventy qualified bidders entered the ring. The FCC hasn't revealed the winners yet, but they are expected to be announced soon. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless are expected to be among the big winners -- and spenders.

This auction sets the stage for another huge spectrum sell-off expected in 2016: The 600MHz broadcast TV "incentive" auction. The AWS-3 auction blasted past the $19.5 billion earned on the 700MHz auction in 2008. (See Verizon & AT&T Win 700 MHz Sweeps.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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Joe Stanganelli 1/31/2015 | 9:25:08 PM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility Not quite so.  States already regulate other utilities, like gas, electric, water, etc., because those companies hold legal monopolies.
Joe Stanganelli 1/31/2015 | 9:24:08 PM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility Yes, but that wouldn't prevent it.

Indeed, if states were more involved with ratemaking for these carriers, as with other utilities, it would give consumers all the more reason to use them rather than switch to alternatives.
pcharles09 1/30/2015 | 6:48:32 PM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility @Abucek,

I guess there has to be some 'separation' there so it doesn't cause a conflict of interest. People wouldn't like the idea of knowing the government has a hand in their services, at least not a big hand in it.
abucek 1/30/2015 | 2:58:26 PM
Re: Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility I would assume the US Govt doesnt regulate these Big Carriers ( AT&T / Verizon / Sprint ) more closely is because the Govt ( ie NSA, FBI, etc ... ) want you to communicate via this preferred path.  
Joe Stanganelli 1/29/2015 | 10:13:13 PM
Definition of a monopoly/oligopoly-holding utility Considering the oligopoly the big carriers hold on spectrum, I'm really quite baffled why they are not regulated even more forcefully like the utilities they are...
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