Dish, smaller carriers plan bids for H block spectrum auction

WASHINGTON Wed Dec 4, 2013 1:57pm EST

WASHINGTON Dec 4 (Reuters) - Dish Network Corp will compete against smaller wireless carriers and individual investors in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission auction of spectrum scheduled for January, the agency revealed on Wednesday.

On Jan. 22, the FCC will auction off the so-called H Block frequencies in the first opportunity that the FCC has had for companies to acquire new spectrum since 2008.

Dish, which applied as American H Block Wireless LLC, is the most formidable of the 34 applicants who indicated an interest in bidding for control of airwaves in some geographic areas, according to new FCC documents.

Other applicants, who may or may not actually bid for wireless licenses in the auction, included Mississippi-based C Spire, other regional and rural providers and several individual investors, the documents showed.

The FCC did not disclose which applicants were interested in particular licenses or how many of them.

Earlier, Dish had pledged to bid $1.56 billion for the spectrum, if the FCC agrees to relax conditions related to its existing spectrum licenses.

The FCC has yet to make such an agreement, but that amount became the auction's base price, meaning that the H Block auction will not close until the FCC has raised $1.56 billion.

The auction's proceedings are required to help fund a new network for emergency communications.

Last month, Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc said they had decided to not participate in the auction. The top two wireless providers Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc had not been expected to be interested in the H Block spectrum.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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