FCC announces winners of 3.7GHz auction; Verizon pays USD45.5bn for 3,511 licences

25 Feb 2021

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unveiled the identities of the winning bidders that participated in its recently concluded Auction 107 spectrum sale, which comprised frequencies in the 3.7GHz-3.98GHz band. Net winning bids totalled USD81.114 billion, with 21 bidders winning all of the available 5,684 licences.

Verizon Wireless – bidding as Cellco Partnership – dominated the proceedings, with total bid commitments of USD45.455 billion for 3,511 licences. Next in line was AT&T Spectrum Frontiers, which offered USD23.407 billion for 1,621 concessions, followed by T-Mobile US (USD9.336 billion, 142 licences) and US Cellular (USD1.283 billion, 254 licences). Another notable bidder was Mississippi-based C Spire (bidding as Cellular South), which paid USD49.850 million for eight licences. The remaining winners are a mixture of private equity-backed bidding vehicles and small-scale regional operators.

TeleGeography notes that the ‘clock phase’ of Auction 107 commenced on 8 December 2020 and concluded on 15 January 2021, after 97 rounds of bidding. The sale process ranks as the highest-grossing spectrum auction ever held in the US.