Wells Fargo: AT&T to spend $10 billion on 600MHz FCC auction, topping T-Mobile's $8 billion
The FCC did agree to hold aside spectrum reserves to be offered exclusively to carriers that own less than 45% of the airwaves in a particular market. Amazingly, this rule will still allow the nation's largest carrier, Verizon, to bid on the spectrum reserves in as many as 12 markets. T-Mobile has requested that the FCC block Big Red from taking advantage of this loophole.
Even scarier to T-Mobile is the idea that its worst fears might come true. According to analysts at Wells Fargo, AT&T is planning on out-spending T-Mobile during the auction, spending as much as $10 billion on a 2x10 MHz block of spectrum that offers nationwide capability. T-Mobile is expected to produce bids as high as $8 billion, with Verizon looking to spend $5 billion.
Wells Fargo expects the 600MHz auction to raise $30 billion to $35 billion, about 33% shy of the $45 billion raised by the FCC's last AWS-3 auction. AT&T led the pack, spending $18.2 billion for those airwaves. Sprint has decided to pull out of this auction, saying it already has enough spectrum to cover its needs.