Dish Network is spending around $10 billion to acquire a wide range of spectrum licenses in the FCC's now-completed AWS-3 spectrum auction. That spectrum, combined with the wide-ranging spectrum licenses that Dish already owns, will turn Charlie Ergen's company into a spectrum powerhouse. But it's still not clear what Ergen's Dish is going to do with all of its airwaves.
The FCC has revealed the identities of the winning bidders in the AWS-3 spectrum, and AT&T was the biggest bidder, with close to $18.2 billion in provisionally winning bids, roughly in line with analysts' expectations. Verizon Wireless wound up bidding $10.43 billion, less than many analysts had expected (most had expected Verizon to bid $15 billion to $20 billion).
Now that the AWS-3 spectrum auction is officially concluded, with nearly $44.9 billion in provisional winning bids, speculation is beginning in earnest over how much wireless carriers bid for the airwaves--and what will come next.
The FCC said bidding in the AWS-3 spectrum auction, known as auction 97, is now closed after 341 rounds. Total provisional winning bids came in at a record $44.899 billion.
The FCC said bidding in the AWS-3 spectrum auction, known as auction 97, is now closed after 341 rounds of bidding. Total provisional winning bids came in at a record $44.899 billion. That's far more money than the FCC raised in its previous spectrum auctions.
The FCC said it has closed bidding on paired spectrum in the AWS-3 spectrum auction, the clearest sign yet that bidding is drawing to a close.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel renewed her call for the FCC to free up more spectrum for unlicensed used and Wi-Fi, something that has been a perennial concern of hers.
AT&T is getting lots of wireless spectrum in Mexico on the cheap by buying bankrupt NII Holdings' Mexican wireless assets, according to financial analysts. And AT&T might not stop there and could look to bulk up its position in Mexico by acquiring assets that former partner América Móvil is going to divest, according to the analysts and other industry sources.
Space Data is looking to monetize its Narrowband PCS (NPCS) spectrum licenses to get funds to launch LTE service in remote areas of Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico. Space Data said it retained the brokerage and investment banking firm Stifel to advise it on selling or potentially using the NPCS spectrum as collateral to fund future deployments.
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.