US Cellular now says that it will be buying some low-band licenses in the 600MHz auction.
The regional operator disclosed this in a filing to the SEC made even though the auction is still in an "anti-collusion" quiet period before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assigns licenses.
US Cellular writes that it now expects to pay a "minimum amount of $327 million, subject to increase as the FCC completes the Assignment Phase of the auction, which is pending." This total includes an upfront deposit of $143 million.
This will still likely make US Cellular one of the lesser bidders in the auction. T-Mobile US Inc. hopes to buy licenses nationwide in the US. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and some cable companies are also expected to bid.
The FCC is expected to announce the winners soon.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading