The biggest bidders in the last auction, in 2015, were AT&T ($18.2 billion) and Verizon ($10.4 billion). That enabled the company to walk away with new spectrum in virtually every USA market, said company chief executive John Legere in a tweet. There are still plenty of spaces where T-Mobile doesn't have great coverage, but once they get their 600MHz spectrum rolled out, there will be even less.
Comcast, meanwhile, plans to launch a mobile service for its customers this year that will initially use Verizon's network.
In the Reverse Incentive Auction, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations relinquished spectrum in three of its duopoly markets - New York (NBC - WNBC), Philadelphia (Telemundo - WWSI), and Chicago (Telemundo - WSNS) - and received total proceeds of $481.6 million. With the purchase of this "once-in-a-lifetime" spectrum, T-Mobile has the largest swath of low-band spectrum in the US, blanketing the entire nation with the ability to cover every single American.
T-Mo customers, good stuff, right? (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) bid $1.72 billion and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) splashed $6.21 billion.
"Yep! The results of the recent low-band @FCC spectrum auction are in! and..."
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The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday announced the winners of its $19.8 billion spectrum auction. The "un-carrier" spent a massive $8 billion in the auction, and as a result it won the biggest number of licenses. Dish snagged $6.2 billion worth, while T-Mobile was the big victor with $8 billion in winning bids. The carrier said the spectrum, which it'll start using later this year, cost $7.99 billion and will allow them to expand their LTE network to new areas of the country.
With the purchase, T-Mobile owns 41.1 megahertz of spectrum below the 1-gigahertz frequency, compared with 46.2 megahertz for Verizon and 70.5 megahertz for AT&T, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
Dish Network, which has amassed almost 80 MHz of spectrum but has spent years looking for a wireless partner. While T-Mobile was heavy participant in the auction, other nationwide carriers did not bid aggressively; in fact, Verizon did not win a license and Sprint did not participate. U.S. Cellular, for instance, will have to pay the $329 million it agreed to spend for 188 licenses. 14 MHz of spectrum is available for unlicensed use and wireless microphones.
Comcast was the third biggest spender in the auction, though it came in at a distant third. "We think the rationale was to build a complete spectrum portfolio, with significant holdings in both mid and low frequency bands".