The FCC's mid-band spectrum auction has just topped $38 billion this Wednesday afternoon as the agency lays down its gavel for the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's Auction 97 for Advanced Wireless Services-3 (AWS-3) spectrum halted at just under $38.2 billion at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, blasting through the initial predictions. (See FCC's AWS-3 Auction Tops $14B.)
The AWS-3 auction includes 65MHz of spectrum in the 1.7GHz and 2.1GHz bands, including 50MHz of paired channels for LTE uplink and downlink. Both the paired and unpaired spectrum have now gone past FCC reserves. (See this FCC page for more details on the spectrum that is up for grabs.)
The auction has 70 qualified bidders. Big spenders are likely to include AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). These major operators could end up paying way more than originally expected for this bandwidth. (See $35B+ Spectrum Auction Dings Verizon, Shines Dish.)
And it isn't over yet. The FCC says it will resume the auction process on December 1. There are currently 19 licenses that don't have initial preferred winning bids (PWBs) attached to them.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading