US airwave auctions draw $14b in pledges

The Federal Communications Commission has declared the latest and most lucrative auction of the public airwaves closed, with bids totaling nearly $13.9 billion, according to an Associated Press report.

The report said the FCC auctioned off 1,087 licenses over 28 days. It was the largest amount of radio spectrum usable for wireless services made available since the agency went to an auction format in 1994.

The proceeds, still to be collected, would go to the US Treasury, the report said.

The report quoted FCC chairman Kevin Martin as saying that the auction was "the biggest" and "most successful" in the commission's history.

The agency auctioned off enough spectrum to build an entire new national wireless network and vastly improve services offered by existing wireless providers, the report said.

The top bidder was T-Mobile USA, owned by German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom, the report further said.