The FCC’s AWS-3 auction keeps chugging along as bids today reached $39.5 billion in the forty-second round.
More than $181 million in new bids came in during the most recent round, marking a 0.46 percent increase over the previous round.
Of the 1,614 licenses up for grabs, 1,599 of them now have provisional winning bids (PWB) on them.
The FCC is auctioning off 65 MHz of AWS-3 spectrum, broken up into six different blocks. The J Block, offering 20 MHz of paired spectrum across 176 economic areas, has drawn some of the largest bids. The New York City-Long Island J Block license has accumulated more than $2.5 billion in bids.
The high prices have analysts wondering how some carriers will fare after footing such a hefty spectrum bill. MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett estimated when auction revenue was at $38 billion that all four of the big U.S. wireless carriers in order to generate a return would have to generate an incremental $1.40 for every man, woman and child in the U.S., in perpetuity, according to Barron’s.
BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk pointed out that even the uplink-only AWS-3 spectrum that’s being auctioned has exceeded the value of Clearwire’s EBS 2.5 GHz spectrum based on Sprint’s acquisition price valuing it at $0.29/MHz/POP. And Piecyk says the 10 MHz block of unpaired AWS-3 spectrum is closing in on the $0.50/MHz/POP valuation placed on the H Block spectrum that Dish won in an FCC auction earlier this year.
The AWS-3 auction will continue as long as new bids keep coming in so the valuations for all blocks available could continue to go up.
Filed Under: Industry regulations