T-Mobile offers highest bid in wireless auction

T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 US wireless carrier and a unit of Deutsche Telekom, provisionally had the highest bids for 118 licenses being offered by the US Federal Communications Commission, with offers of almost $4.2 billion, a Reuters report said.

This as the FCC accelerated the bidding in its auction of licenses for advanced wireless services, which had already raised more than $13.6 billion after 15 days, the report said.

The report said the FCC added two rounds of bidding per day to bring the daily total to six rounds and cut the time of each round in half to 30 minutes, an effort to complete the sale as companies vied for 1,122 licenses.

The auction would continue until there were no new bids, withdrawals or other activity, the report said.

Analysts predicted that T-Mobile would be an aggressive bidder because it did not have as many airwaves as its larger competitors. T-Mobile had the highest bids for several large regional licenses as well as ones that covered smaller areas.

No. 2 wireless carrier Verizon Wireless was second in the bidding, with provisionally winning bids of $2.8 billion for four licenses. The company is a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone.

While traditional wireless companies had largely dominated the auction, a group that included the major cable television providers and No. 3 wireless carrier Sprint Nextel was in third place based on provisionally winning bids, the report said.