(Updates with final bid tally of $19.12 billion)
March 20 (Reuters) - 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 the licenses:
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 Francisco.
Spent: $6.64 billion
FRONTIER WIRELESS LLC, PARTNERSHIP CONTROLLED BY DISH NETWORK CORP:
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 video services.
Spent: $711 million
Qualcomm won 9 licenses in the “B” and “E” blocks.
Spent: $558 million
MetroPCS Communications PCS.N won a license covering the Boston market.
Spent: $360 million
Sources: License information from FCC, spending data compiled by Stifel Nicolaus. (Reporting by Michele Gershberg, editing by Phil Berlowitz)