(Updates with final bid tally of $19.12 billion)
March 20 Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and
AT&T (T.N) won big in a U.S. government auction of wireless
licenses that raised a record $19.12, while other winners of
Federal Communications Commission spectrum include a partner of
satellite operator DISH Network Corp (DISH.O).
Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with Vodafone Group Plc
(VOD.L), won licenses for the nationwide "C" block of spectrum,
giving it control of a major piece of airwaves being vacated by
television broadcasters as they move to digital signals.
The total auction proceeds were reduced from an earlier
$19.59 when communications regulators withdrew a portion of the
airwaves that failed to reach a minimum bid threshold.
Below are the major winners and their estimated spending on
Represented by Cellco Partnership, Verizon Wireless won the
"C" block, 700 megahertz spectrum that is considered valuable
because it can go long distances and penetrate thick walls. It
bears a new requirement that the wireless spectrum be
accessible to any device or software application, not just
handsets favored by Verizon.
Verizon Wireless also won 25 licenses in the "A" block of
regional spectrum, covering such areas as Long Island,
Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Spent: $9.63 billion
AT&T MOBILITY SPECTRUM:
AT&T won 227 licenses from among the "B" block of regional
licenses spanning such cities as Washington, Houston and San
Spent: $6.64 billion
FRONTIER WIRELESS LLC, PARTNERSHIP CONTROLLED BY DISH
Frontier gained a nearly nationwide footprint of airwaves
in the "E" block of licenses, which offer one-way communication
capabilities, suggesting it may branch out to offer wireless
Spent: $711 million
Qualcomm won 9 licenses in the "B" and "E" blocks.
Spent: $558 million
METROPCS 700 MHZ LLC:
MetroPCS Communications PCS.N won a license covering the
Spent: $360 million
Sources: License information from FCC, spending data
compiled by Stifel Nicolaus.
(Reporting by Michele Gershberg, editing by Phil Berlowitz)