FCC accelerates AWS-3 auction, bidding surpasses $41 billion

FCC accelerates AWS-3 auction, bidding surpasses $41 billion
The spectrum auction currently underway is bringing in big money, far surpassing initial expectations. The FCC set a reserve at $10 billion for AWS-3 spectrum covering 1695-1710MHz, 1755-1780MHz, and 2155-2180MHz frequencies.

AT&T and Verizon are the presumed frontrunners in the bidding, but the FCC has not listed any of the active participants in the bidding. T-Mobile and a few dozen other companies are possibly in the mix.

Sprint is sitting this round of auctions out. Dish Network is probably stirring things up as well. In the first four days of the auction, bidding had already more than doubled the reserve at $24 billion, a few days after that, bidding topped $34 billion.

Now that bidding has passed $41 billion, the FCC is speeding things up. Now, instead of four 60-minute bidding windows per day, there will be six 30-minute intervals of bidding each day. The accelerated pace will mean the auction will end sooner. After the last set of bidding, round 57, 104 bids were made

The auction will conclude when no new bids are offered in a round. Given the pace of things so far, it is difficult to forecast when that will actually be, but what is not in doubt is that whomever the winning parties are, they will have paid a king’s ransom for the spectrum.

This AWS-3 spectrum will supplement existing bands in use already, and if this auction is attracting this kind of money, imagine what the 600MHz sale is going to look like in 2016.

via: FierceWireless

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12 Comments

1. wilsong17 unregistered

So wHo is winning and loosing here I mean comeon 41 billion

2. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I'd say the customers when these carriers jack up their rates for the spectrum they bought. And after the spectrum is paid for, the rates will stay the same because people are used to them.

8. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

The US government is winning by selling invisible space (Owned by the people of the US) to huge corporates that will not lower prices for the people of the United States, for money that the government will keep and use on bulls**t projects. Consumers lose.

3. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

To add to VZWuser76's astute observation, one can project the trend out in the US. With high spectrum costs and the industry's quest for profits, cellular service will always be expensive in the US. As VZW said, rates will never go down. There will be "deals" when companies are trying to get more customers, and grandfathered in plans that will be phased out, but outside of deals and old plans, the consumer is not in for anything good ahead.

6. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

We may have better service and more features, but financially, you are correct.

7. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Yes, better than the Phillippines:http://opensignal.com/reports/state-of-lte-q1-2014

4. Derekjeter

Posts: 1449; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

As long as I dont loose my unlimited data with Verizon I'll be willing to pay an extra $100 a month. I have 5 lines and we use a little over 200 gigs. In their new pricing I would have to pay $700 a month for those five lines. Right now I pay 340 for my 5 lines.

5. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Talking to a CSR from Verizon the other day, I was told they've already had meetings that focused on eliminating grandfathered unlimited plans. The only thing they haven't determined is when. But judging that they're already talking about it, I would say it isn't far off. I'd guess in the next year, two at the outside. Definitely before they eliminate their CDMA network, as that's supposed to be around until 2020, by which time they should have their LTE network shored up.

10. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

200 gigs!? Well sorry to say that in your contract with Verizon they made you agree to letting them change the terms and conditions at their discretion. Nothing was solidified. They could end unlimited data today and your options would be to sign a new contract or walk away.

11. joe1blue

Posts: 169; Member since: Jul 25, 2013

wow those are crazy good prices I'm sure you'll never see those with Verizon again

9. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

That's OK. The US is a sh*tpile already. Ensuring internet control stays with the gigantic private telcos will just accelerate citizen anger. Especially when they start raising prices again while the rest of the world pays 1/4 the costs we already have. Luckily these Xfinity hotspots everywhere let me steal as much data as I want. Kudos blood-suckers.

12. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Oh sprint *facepalm* low end spectrum is EXACTLY what you need to improve your network. You'd rather spend your money on silly promos than spectrum that you NEED to compete.

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