Auction Watch: EchoStar-DirecTV in the lead

After the fifth round of the FCC's advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum auction, EchoStar-DirecTV is in the lead with $352,486,000 worth of provisionally winning bids (or PWBs in FCC-speak) for spectrum that covers more than 352 million people. T-Mobile USA is right on the JV's heels, though, with $324,685,000 worth of PWBs of spectrum that covers more than 285 million potential customers. Next comes the SpectrumCo consortium, which includes Sprint Nextel, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Bresnan, and Bright House with $212,301,000 worth of spectrum covering almost 160 million potential customers. Cingular rounds out the top four with $123,737,000 covering more than 70 million potential customers.

The gross PWBs thus far totals $1,473,940,600, and that's just day one of the two-day auction. Things slowed down as it entered the fifth round yesterday, with only 125 new PWBs coming out of the the final round. It looks like only 78 of the original 600 licenses remain without a PWB. Also, special shout out to "The Dolan Family," which currently ranks seventh on the bidders list, and bears no known filial ties to our editor, Brian Dolan.

For more on the AWS auction:
- see this .pdf of the results from yesterday
- check out the overall stats