UPDATE At least one analyst had a bit to say yesterday about the results of the C-band auction. Inside Towers reported that 21 bidders spent a total of more than $80 billion. All of the available 5,684 licenses were scooped up. The top five winning bidders accounted for most of the money offered and garnered most of the licenses. Of those top five, Verizon (using the name “Cellco Partnership”) won the most licenses, at 3,511 down to Canopy Spectrum, which won 84.
Licenses are being distributed in 14 blocks of 20 MHz each in 406 partial economic areas. According to the FCC, the initial license terms are 15 years.
The auction distributed 280 MHz of spectrum in the C-band, between 3.7 and 3.98 GHz. BitPath COO Sasha Javid created a graphic illustrating the winners by color, shown above.
Among Javid’s takeaways, cablecos Comcast and Charter passed on the auction. “If these companies were true believers in their burgeoning wireless offerings, I would have thought they would have wanted to complement their CBRS holdings with C-band spectrum across their cable footprint given the less restrictive power limitations. I was wrong,” says Javid in a blog.
Verizon got coverage across the entire continental U.S. with an average depth of over eight blocks. In addition, they acquired 60 percent of the available A blocks, which should clear by December of this year, he notes.
AT&T did enough to stay competitive, according to the expert. “I guess they realize that wireless may still be a better bet than streaming services, and certainly better than satellite TV,” he states.
Down payments are due to the FCC on March 10. FCC Forms 601 and 602 are also due March 10. Final payments are due March 24.