The auction of spectrum by the US government raised a record $44.9 billion after bids from AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). The Federal Communications Commission offered the auction of the AWS-3 spectrum in the wake of surging demand.
Sprint Corp (NYSE:S), the third leading wireless carrier in the US did not take part in the auction but planned to bid next year. The auction generated the highest amount of spectrum till date and ended on Thursday. The FCC stated that the sale would also improve wireless connections and access across the country.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated that the move would accelerate the mobile revolution and improve lives of the American people. The massive demand of the spectrum is evident due to the increasing amount of smartphones, tablet, connected appliances and internet in vehicles. Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) also took part in the auctions and the final list has been announced.
Though the FCC has fixed a reserve price of $10.1 billion for the AWS-3 spectrum, the total auction amount surprised the commission. The FCC also mentioned that a major spectrum auction will be held in 2016. Wheeler hopes that the auctioned spectrum will contribute towards the country’s GDP and help in job opportunities.
According to a document, AT&T won bids worth $18.2 billion, Verizon with $10.4 billion and T-Mobile bid with $1.8 billion. The commission mentioned that $20 billion will be directed at reducing the fiscal deficit. Gary Shapiro, Consumer Electronics Association president stated that the FCC should expand access to even more “licensed and unlicensed spectrum”.
However, Harold Feld, a consumer activist group highlighted that this was the proof showing the lack of competition and the biggest wireless carriers will spend whatever they want to keep their spectrum dominance. The new spectrum will allow AT&T to lead in customer satisfaction and develop next-Gen mobile video entertainment.[ Via ]