The FCC released a list of 104 applicants (69 complete applications and 35 incomplete applications) for its upcoming incentive auction of TV broadcasters' unwanted 600 MHz spectrum, and it's marked by a few recognizable names as well as some wild cards. Verizon (NYSE: VZ), T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM) and C Spire Wireless are all signed up, while AT&T (NYSE: T) and Bluegrass Wireless have yet to fully complete their applications.
The FCC recently assured that the 600 MHz incentive auction would proceed as planned on March 29, and now the list of bidders is here to put another big piece of the process in place.
Sprint (NYSE: S), as promised, did not apply for bidding in the auction. It's still unclear if SoftBank, Sprint's majority owner, applied as it was recently rumored to be considering. Dish Network's (NASDAQ: DISH) name is missing from the list, as are its AWS-3 auction designated entity (DE) partners Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless. However, one listed company -- ParkerB.com Wireless -- is registered under Dish's Denver-area address, indicating the satellite TV provider is once again looking to pick up spectrum. Neither Dish Network nor SoftBank was immediately available to respond to inquiries from FierceWireless.
Controversy arose after Dish's DEs obtained $3.33 billion in bidding credits, which the FCC ultimately denied.
In a research note released Monday morning, BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said that SoftBank did not apply as speculated, and Charter (NASDAQ: CHTR), which is in the final stretch of its attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks, also did not apply. Liberty Global did apply but the Wall Street Journal reports that the MSO no longer intends to bid in the auction.
Piecyk said that America Movil, under the name Puerto Rico Telephone Company, and NTT DoCoMo, under the name DoCoMo Pacific, have also applied but he speculates that neither will bid on markets in the continental U.S.
While the field of bidders right now looks a lot like the participants that helped push the 2015 AWS-3 spectrum auction to record revenues of $45 billion, a new Reuters report suggests broadcasters should brace for less. The Blackstone Group recently sold three stations in Baltimore, Detroit and Buffalo, New York for $24 million, a price significantly lower than the opening bids of $477 million those markets' spectrum licenses are projected to fetch in the upcoming auction. As Reuters points out, Blackstone's sale right before the auction could spell lowered expectations for broadcasters and lower demand from wireless operators.
Check out the full list of auction applicants, below.
Agri-Valley Communications, Inc.
Beachfront Wireless, L.P.
Bluewater Wireless II, L.P.
CC Wireless Investment, LLC
Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless
Cellular South Licenses, LLC
Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation
Corrin, Lois B
Deihim , Fardad
Docomo Pacific, Inc.
East Kentucky Network, LLC
Elliiott, Terri A
Falcon Spectrum LLC
Farmers Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
Harris, Michelle J
Hulce, James C
Jones-Leslie, Melvina C
K2 Wireless, LLC
LICT Wireless Broadband Company, LLC
Lumumba, Jawara K
McCotter, James E
Mutual Telephone Company of Sioux Center, Iowa
NEIT Services, LLC
Northern Valley Communications, LLC
Nova Wireless LLC
Nsight Spectrum, LLC
Omega Wireless, LLC
Panhandle Telecommunication Systems, Inc.
Parker, Barbara J
ParkerB.com Wireless L.L.C.
Pine Cellular Phones, Inc.
Pioneer-Nex-Tech Wireless-Rural Tel Consortium
Plateau Telecommunications, Inc.
Polar Communications Mutual Aid Corporation
Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc.
Rolling Hills Entertainment, LLC
RSM Wireless, LP
Sagebrush Cellular, Inc.
Smith Bagley, Inc.
Social Capital Rama Spectrum Holdings LLC
Spectrum Financial Partners, LLC
Spotlight Media Corp., Inc.
STG Wireless Licensee, LLC
T-Mobile License LLC
Talley, Marlon B
The Alaska Wireless Network, LLC
Tradewinds Wireless Holdings, LLC
Triangle Communication Systems, Inc.
Union Telephone Company
UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION
VTel Wireless, Inc.
WCTA Wireless, Inc.
Zephyr Spectrum Fund I LP
AT&T Spectrum Holdings LLC
Ben Amor, Farid E
BlueBird America LLC
Channel 51 License Co LLC
Citizens Telephone Company of Hammond, NY, Inc.
CT Cube, L.P.
Dawnlight Communication Inc
E. Ritter Communications Holdings, Inc.
Eureka Global Telecom
GCE WS Holdings Inc
Gold Spectrum, LLC
Inland Cellular, LLC
Iowa RSA 2 Limited Partnership
KURIAN, THOMAS K
laboral data systems
Liberty Spectrum Inc.
Limitless Mobile, LLC
Mach FM Corp.
Mark Twain Communications Company
MSP 600 LLC
NE Colorado Cellular, Inc.
Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company
Pine Belt Cellular, Inc.
RDGG Investment Corporation
SAL Spectrum, LLC
SI Wireless, LLC
Talley, Gregory M
Teleguam Holdings, LLC
TStar 600, LLC
Wade, Barbara J
- read this Reuters article
AT&T urges 'strong, centralized FCC leadership' during post-auction transition
AT&T offers spectrum repacking plans for upcoming 600 MHz incentive auction
Comcast, Charter may participate in 600 MHz auction, while Time Warner Cable plans to stay home
T-Mobile seen as favorite to win spectrum in 600 MHz auction, but smaller carriers likely to jump in as well
Article updated March 21 with details on Comcast, from a BTIG research note, and additional information from a Reuters report.