AT&T's disclosure that it entered into credit agreements worth more than $11 billion has prompted some financial analysts to think that the company may wind up buying more airwaves at the AWS-3 spectrum auction than Verizon Wireless, spending anywhere from $20 billion to $22 billion at the auction.
The FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction is nearing the bitter end, with total provisional winning bids topping $44.68 billion and unlikely to go much higher. Now, attention is turning to what will happen once the auction officially closes--and how carriers will come up with the money to cover their bids.
How did the wireless industry perform in the fourth quarter of 2014? Check here throughout the fourth-quarter earnings report season for full earnings reports from the wireless industry's carriers, handset makers, equipment suppliers and others.
Dish Network could become a wholesale wireless capacity provider, perhaps in partnership with Sprint, and its spectrum could well be worth more in that scenario than it would be if Dish sold the airwaves, according to a new report from financial analysts. Such an arrangement could eventually net Dish around $10 billion in revenue per year, according to the analysts.
The market continues to undervalue Dish Network's spectrum holdings, and Dish will continue to be part of M&A discussions through 2015, according to a report from by Jefferies analysts. The massive bids in the ongoing AWS-3 spectrum auction are contributing to the situation, they added.
A new report from Wells Fargo analysts highlights just how important major U.S. metro markets are for wireless carriers. The report shows that AWS-3 spectrum license prices for the top three U.S. markets are 94 percent above the average prices in the auction.
The FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction is crawling along toward its conclusion, with total provisional winning bids now topping $43.7 billion. There are also signs that the auction will end shortly.
The FCC is forcing bidders in the AWS-3 spectrum auction to place new bids on 95 percent of the licenses for which they are eligible or face the prospect of not being able to make any more bids. The shift to "stage two" of the auction process, with the attendant change in bidding rules, is another indication that bidding is starting to wind down in the auction, which has gone on nearly a month.
With bidding in the AWS-3 spectrum auction winding down, financial analysts think Dish Network is likely going to walk away as a major winner, especially if it can secure paired spectrum licenses in major markets. According to a research note from analysts at New Street Research, that would give Dish leverage over Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, which have likely spent big at the auction.
Participants in the FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction resumed bidding after taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the auction has now topped $38.4 billion in total provisional winning bids.