In somewhat of a surprise, the nation’s two largest wireless carriers – AT&T and Verizon – came away from the FCC’s spectrum incentive auction nearly or completely empty handed. While much was made of the fact that T-Mobile reportedly took home 45 percent of all low-band spectrum sold, less was made of AT&T and Verizon’s haul, mostly because there wasn’t much to talk about.
According to the FCC’s summary, while T-Mobile shelled out nearly $8 billion for some 1,525 licenses, AT&T bid a paltry (by comparison) $910 million on just 23 licenses. Even U.S. Cellular, which spent $328.6 million on 188 licenses outspent Verizon, which signed up but was apparently disinterested enough that it made no bids and won no licenses.
MoffettNathanson analysts said Verizon’s lack of activity was one of “three big surprises” in the auction results. The other two were Comcast’s purchase of less spectrum than expected and Dish’s purchase of more, the firm said.
Indeed, Dish was the second biggest spender in the proceedings, dropping $6.2 billion on 486 licenses. Comcast slid in with the third highest investment at $1.7 billion, but walked away with only 73 licenses.
But the location of the winning licenses is just as important as the number taken home. Here’s a rundown from Mosaik of where each of the top four bidders – T-Mobile, Dish, Comcast, and AT&T – won licenses and how much spectrum they took in each market.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)