Mobile, Dish, Comcast Emerge As FCC Auction Winners

Posted April 15, 2017

Similar to AT&T, Comcast aims to retain pay-TV customers with a product-bundling strategy. BTIG Research estimates that a leaseback deal Sprint announced back in October values that Clearwire spectrum at six times the price Sprint paid to acquire Clearwire. It expects to begin putting "some" of it to use as early as this year; its subsidiary MetroPCS will also be able to make use of the new spectrum. T-Mobile spent $8 billion and won the biggest number of licenses, according to the FCC. So, we could see 600 MHz powered devices by the end of this year.

"T-Mobile's network is already the fastest, most advanced in the country, and this will take it to a whole new level - and we'll do it fast", said Neville Ray, T-Mobile CTO.

Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the USA, and Sprint didn't bid at all. This is a huge day for T-Mobile customers and those in markets that have questioned whether or not T-Mobile could keep up with Verizon and AT&T. And Comcast has made no secret of its plans to leverage its own spectrum as it couples its hotspot network with Verizon's cellular infrastructure to enter the wireless market. With this purchase, T-Mobile now has significantly more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider and almost TRIPLE the low-band spectrum per customer than Verizon. Dish Network offered $6.2 billion for its share of the auction, while Comcast spent $1.7 billion.

Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is the trade association representing the $292 billion USA consumer technology industry, which supports more than 15 million U.S.jobs.

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A USA airwaves sale that ended in 2015 drew $44.9 billion in bids. The remainder will go off air. Comcast, which recently outlined plans to deploy its own wireless service, will spend $1.7 billion.

There's some big wireless news out today, as the FCC has announced the results of the 600MHz spectrum auction that kicked off previous year. "Now the FCC and the broadcast industry face the unprecedented task of moving nearly a thousand TV stations - far more than originally anticipated - to new channels in very tight time frames", said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith.

Roughly $7 billion raised in the auction will help pay down the national debt, and more than $10 billion will go to the 175 winning broadcasters participating in the FCC's program to repurpose their airwaves for mobile carriers.

After gaining access to 20 MHz of nationwide 700 MHz spectrum via the FirstNet procurement, AT&T bid $910.2 billion for 23 of the 5x5 MHz geographic licenses, including three in Dallas, two in St. Louis and two in Columbus, Ohio.