Verizon Tops List of 5G Spectrum Bidders -- Update
By Drew FitzGerald
Verizon Communications Inc. secured the biggest share of
wireless airwaves offered in a U.S. government auction that racked
up a record $81 billion in bids, according to details released
Verizon pledged $45.5 billion for the midrange spectrum rights,
which can extend the reach and bandwidth of its fifth-generation
wireless service. AT&T Inc. bid $23.4 billion, while T-Mobile
US Inc. bid $9.3 billion.
The results answered a question that has absorbed
wireless-industry investors since the Federal Communications
Commission started the auction in December. Purchases of licenses
to use certain airwaves are among the biggest checks a cellphone
carrier can write.
Wireless companies have snapped up ever-larger chunks of the
electromagnetic spectrum to keep up with their customers' growing
demand for music, video and software streamed to their smartphones.
A shortage of the asset can degrade service, putting a carrier at a
The most recent spectrum sale offered cellular companies,
cable-TV providers and other qualified bidders a chance to expand
their wireless operations into the C-band range, a swath of
airwaves previously restricted to satellite communications. The
commission auctioned off 280 megahertz of the band, leaving the
rest to incumbent satellite users and guard bands to block
Strong demand for the 5G-friendly frequencies drove initial bids
to a record $80.9 billion. A second phase designed to sort out the
license types awarded to each bidder pushed the total last week to
(More to come)
Write to Drew FitzGerald at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 24, 2021 16:41 ET (21:41 GMT)
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