AWS-3 auction climbs past $36.4B in bids

After 32 rounds of bidding, the AWS-3 spectrum auction has generated a whopping $36.44 billion in aggregate provisional winning bids. That figure is almost double what the 700 MHz auction raised in 2008. 

Bidding activity has started to slow. In round 32, there 2343 135 new bids and bidding increased by $436.3 million, or 1.21 percent. When there are no more new bids the auction will end.

As has been the case throughout the auction, the most attractive individual licenses have been paired 10x10 MHz blocks of spectrum known as the J-Block, in major markets. The J-Block license covering New York City and Long Island generated a bid of $2.21 billion in round 32, while the same spectrum block in the Los Angeles area received a bid of $1.86 billion.

Although the bidding is confidential, analysts think that Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) are spending heavily, with Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) likely bidding up prices. T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) is also expected to walk away with licenses that are 5x5 MHz in size in areas of the country where it feels  it lacks sufficient AWS spectrum depth. Page