Verizon dominates US 3.5GHz auction; DISH, cablecos also win big

3 Sep 2020

According to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), mobile market leader Verizon Wireless topped the bidding list in the recently concluded Auction 105 3.5GHz spectrum sale. Bidding as ‘Verizon Wireless Network Procurement’, the mobile giant committed to pay a total of USD1.894 billion for 557 Priority Access Licences (PALs). The second highest bidder in financial terms – but the leading bidder in terms of PALs won – was Wetterhorn Wireless, an affiliate of satellite TV giant DISH Network. Wetterhorn paid USD912.9 million for 5,492 licences.

Rounding out the top five bidders were Spectrum Wireless Holdings, part of Charter Communications (USD464.3 million, 210 licences); XF Wireless, part of Comcast (USD458.7 million, 830 licences); and Cox Communications (USD212.8 million, 470 licences). In terms of Verizon’s chief mobile rivals, AT&T did not register a single winning bid, while T-Mobile US paid just USD5.6 million for eight licences. US Cellular, meanwhile, paid USD13.5 million for 243 licences.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, gross proceeds from Auction 105 reached USD4.586 billion, with the winning bidders securing 20,625 (91.1%) of the 22,631 available concessions. The 5G-suitable 3550MHz-3650MHz concessions on offer represented the ‘greatest number of spectrum licences ever in a single FCC auction’.