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What just happened? The Federal Communications Commission this week announced the winning bidders as well as the final bid totals in its latest wireless spectrum auction. The results of the auction are more or less in line with that analysts were expecting. Verizon needed a big haul to help bolster its mmWave installations. T-Mobile wasn’t going to go hog wild since it has plenty of spectrum due to its recent merger with Sprint.
Cellco Partnership, otherwise known as Verizon Wireless, spent a total of $45.5 billion in exchange for 3,511 licenses. AT&T placed second with a total expenditure of $23.4 billion, which garnered 1,621 licenses, while T-Mobile shelled out $9.3 billion to snag 142 licenses. US Cellular also spent $1.3 billion to grab 254 licenses.
A total of 21 bidders won all of the available 5,684 licenses, spending a collective $81,168,677,645 to do so.
Now that #CBand auction results are public, time for carriers to start explaining what they are going to do with their billions of dollars of new spectrum.— Eli Blumenthal (@eliblumenthal) February 24, 2021
Verizon is up first with an investor day on 3/10. T-Mobile goes next with its own analyst event on 3/11.
FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said it is essential to America’s economic recovery that they deliver on the promise of next-generation wireless services for everyone, everywhere. “This auction reflects a shift in our nation’s approach to 5G toward mid-band spectrum that can support fast, reliable, and ubiquitous service that is competitive with our global peers,” she added.
With the easy part in the rearview, carriers now must focus on actually building the infrastructure to support the spectrum licenses they have acquired.
Masthead credit: Number17