FCC reveals 3.45GHz winners; AT&T, DISH dominate bidding

17 Jan 2022

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revealed the winning bidders from its 3.45GHz 5G spectrum auction, which concluded in November 2021. Auction 110 saw winning bidders secure 4,041 of the 4,060 available generic blocks in the 3.45GHz–3.55GHz band, generating gross proceeds of more than USD22.5 billion.

As per FCC documentation, AT&T Communications (bidding as AT&T Auction Holdings) dominated proceedings, committing to pay USD9.079 billion for a total of 1,624 licences. DISH Network (bidding via its Weminuche holding company) was next in line, offering USD7.328 billion for 1,232 concessions. Other notable bidders include T-Mobile US (USD2.898 billion, 199 licences) and US Cellular (USD579.6 million, 380 licences).

The FCC notes that 13 of the 23 companies with winning bids in Auction 110 qualified as small businesses or as entities serving rural communities. In addition, compared to the FCC’s previous 5G auction, this sale saw a substantial increase in the number of winning bidders per market: over one-third of the top 100 markets have at least four winning bidders, compared with 10% of the top 100 markets for Auction 107.