The US Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) 2.5GHz spectrum auction wrapped up today (29 August) after $427.8 million was raised across 73 rounds of bidding, but it could be a week or so before the results are released.
The winning bidders will be revealed when the FCC releases a public notice that provides details about where each bidder won licences in the auction, according to BitPath COO and auction analyst Sasha Javid.
The money raised was a far cry below the amount some analysts had predicted prior to the auction’s start on 29 July.
Phil Burnett, communications services analyst with New Street Research, previously estimated the auction could raise between $1.5 billion and $5.5 billion, but there was little incentive for other mobile operators, such as Verizon, AT&T and Dish Network, to bid because T-Mobile US already owns or leases large portions of Educational Broadband Service (EBS) 2.5GHz spectrum.
“With only one well-heeled serious bidder who has an incentive to use the licences, it was always clear the auction results were going to be a bargain for T-Mobile,” said Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner in an email to Mobile World Live (MWL). “Other bidders had only a chance of winning when T-Mobile did not want the licence.”
The auction, which the FCC called Auction 108, was comprised of 8,017 county-based overlay licences in the 2.5GHz band. Auction 108 covered blocks in 49.5MHz, 50.5MHz and 17.5MHz in each county, with licences mostly in rural areas.