$31 billion in bids so far as AWS-3 auction reaches 25th round


As many of you will be aware, T-Mobile is one of many companies currently taking part in the FCC’s AWS-3 spectrum auction. During the process, T-Mo could stand to gain some more 1700/2100 spectrum to help bolster its LTE network.

As reported by Fierce Wireless, the spectrum auction has now gone through 24 rounds of bidding and – so far – has reached a huge $31 billion in bids. That’s $12 billion more than the 700MHz auction managed in 2008. Very few analysts – if any – predicted the bidding would reach such a high figure. But thankfully, signs are showing that the bidding is starting to wind down a little now.

The highest bids so far are for 10+10MHz licenses in the New York City ($1.86B) and Los Angeles ($1.51B) areas. It’s presumed that the bids come from Verizon and AT&T. Both of whom are keen  to grab 10+10 channels in major metro areas.

As for T-Mobile, we’re not clear on how much spectrum it’s seeking to acquire, or in which areas. But it is clear that it doesn’t have the same cash war chest as its two biggest rivals. Verizon and AT&T are expected to spend over $14 billion on spectrum during this auction, while T-Mobile is likely to spend only 1/10th of that.

Read more at Fierce Wireless


Tags: , , , , ,

  • D_Wall__

    Fingers Crossed Tmobile Gets some great spectrum.

  • Bori

    Fingers crossed that they land some spectrum here in Cincinnati, we sure can use it!

    • Nick

      lol I was about to post the exact same thing

  • Jay J. Blanco

    I hope Columbia, SC is a market we need it. Congestion when large events happen is not good.

    • steveb944

      I honestly think that happens at all events nationwide. I just like to think everyone around me has the same great network as me at ‘X’ event.

      • Jay J. Blanco

        The 3G was congested 4G was wiring fine

  • Mike

    I hope they get spectrum in WI. It is much needed there.

    • fentonr

      Yes, part of North West is ok but that doesn’t seem to get built out because the rest of the state is so bad.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    I hope AT&T and Verizon shoot their wads here, let them spend as much as they like. Sounds like they’re willing to blow it now, which means they won’t have as much cash for the 600 Mhz auction.

    • Mike Palomba

      Vzw and att have A lot of money. They’ll have plenty for the 600 MHz auction

      • Nerd_Baller

        But if they’re not allowed to bid due to auction rules…….

        • GinaDee

          No, AT&T and VZ will be allowed to bid.

          Also remember that Republicans control the House and Senate. They are much more friendly to AT&T and VZ in general.

          Rules will be changed to accommodate big business.

        • Nerd_Baller

          Currently debating rules where if they have a certain amount of spectrum in the given area, they cannot bid. But as you said – rules can change….

        • Bryan Pizzuti

          Republicans are also about free markets and competition. RF and spectrum by its very nature can’t be completely de-regulated, so the next best thing is to ensure a competitive market. Which means spectrum screen, and reserving spectrum for everyone but Ma and Pa Bell.

        • Nerd_Baller

          I don’t think the FCC expected to get this much from the aws auction. This should put less pressure and lower reserve on the 2016 auction. Time will tell….

  • joemmo983

    not sure why DT wouldnt go in their deep pockets for something like this. this is where they need to invest in.

    the old management there is prob sore from traveling back and forth to the US.
    no wonder TMO is flying solo. typical tired old management acting on their own selfishness.

    • dtam

      I’d rather they save their money and get a good chunk of 600 mhz band

      • Jay Holm

        Yes, and not just “key markets”, but true nationwide licenses.

      • fentonr

        Keep dreaming.

        • dtam

          they only need to beat out sprint, the smaller mobiles, and the random companies that buy up spectrum holdings…for 20%.

    • steveb944

      Considering that they’re not doing that well overseas, they can’t really invest in the US market even if they wanted to.

    • fentonr

      I think it has more to do with the fact that DT spent a ridiculous amount of money acquiring the companies that became T-Mobile US and then spent years dumping money into it and then after the failed sale they spent more money to merge with MetroPCS…and their other businesses aren’t doing well and need a lot of investment.

  • Bklynman

    Cam,loan some money to T-mobile fast! Write them a check!

    • Cam Bunton

      Hahaha! Pretty sure it would bounce. ;-)

      • Bklynman

        Well cut Panther lady pay in half,ask phone dog for a raise, break your children piggy bank open,that should be enough!!

  • Rob J

    its not really how much they spend but strategy. T-mobile has shown in the past year or so to be able to do more with less and maximize their resources. Since the change in the guard, legere and co. have been very shrewd in their moves and every one has had to respond to t-mobile. Moves and countermoves

  • kev2684

    $31b seems high. i bet the low band will cost waaaaay higher. now i’m afraid T-Mobile won’t have enough muscle to take nationwide low band spectrum in the upcoming 600mhz spectrum. they’d need at least 10mhz of paired spectrum nationwide to compete with the twin bells.

    • CPPCrispy

      I think that this is why T-Mobile went after 700a.

      • As well as 700 b and 700 c in some areas like North Dakota.

  • Greg Victor

    I wish t mobile had the money to hang with the big boys. An extra 10+10 in NYC would hit the spot…

    • If people would stop whining about the cost of SIM card going up or the Free Tablet offer, then T-mobile would have the money. But…..Nooooooooooo!

      • Jay J. Blanco

        lol wow

  • vinnyjr

    Dont you worry John Legere has a few tricks up his sleeve. You can take that to the bank. Complete faith in Batman.

  • vinnyjr

    Everyone is saying how much AT&T and Big Red have to spend, tell me why then in a very large suburb of Boston does AT&T and Verizon have the worst LTE signal and coverage? Dropped calls and very slow data speeds. Shame the hell on them, this day in age to have such a lousy service in my city, big business city.

    • Kidney_Thief

      Typical conversation that occurs inside a Verizon customer’s head
      Customer: Verizon, I’m breaking up with you!
      Verizon: How can you break up with me? What if you go to rural Montana?! Or Idaho?! You’re gonna wish you had me back.
      Customer: Hmm. I guess I’ve always wanted to go to rural Montana.
      Verizon: See, I’ve been listening to you this whole time, you seem like the kind of person that wants to go all over the place.
      Customer: Yeah! I’m well-traveled! I like to see things! I’m definitely not going to sit on my butt the next five years while I overpay for your phone service and procrastinate on planning this trip!
      Verizon: That sounds great. I know we just went through a rough patch, but do you have that money you owe me?

      • JJCommonSense


      • LIve in Idaho

        Unfortunately … I live in Idaho … so that argument works for me ;)

      • Did you know that T-Mobile is the only carrier that would have any kind of coverage in some areas of the US due to Wi-Fi Calling on most of their post-2012 phones?

    • Jay Holm

      Overrated carriers! I was with Verizon for 3 years, Samsung Droid Charge, it would constantly drop down from LTE to useless EVDO Rev. A, at least on T-Mobile data can still be used without LTE!

    • MastarPete

      I’d be willing to bet people in that town decided to vote against allowing a cell tower to be built at some point in the past. I know It happened where I live, maybe 5 or years ago, T-mobile wanted to rent space on the back part of the local library’s property. A tower in that location would have filled in the relative dead-zone T-mobile has within the city. Naturally the N.I.M.B.Y. people voiced their opinion when a public hearing was held and the tower was never built.

    • PaulRivers

      I just switched from Verizon to TMobile because TMobile has better in-building coverage than Verizon does where I live (Minneapolis, Mn). My new apartment, my dad’s place, and multiple places around town – Verizon consistently has trouble holding a call indoors, while TMobile just works.

      You know why Verizon has more to spend? It’s exactly because they are not spending it on towers and coverage. They’re charging more and just saving that money up.

    • kalel33

      They have well over 2x as many customers as T-mobile, which means their towers are being used quite a bit more. There aren’t as many people on T-mobile towers, so the congestion isn’t an issue.

    • false assumptions

      tmobile has always been the performance, high quality service carrier. verizon and att have vast coverage areas, which is their claim to fame. people seem to assume that coverage and service quality go hand in hand, but that’s obiously not the case.

    • Jaime P. Laigo

      Just because they have the spectrum does not mean that they built it out, just that no one else can.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    Hope T mobile saves their money for 600 MHz auction in 2016/2017

  • k

    i think TMUS was looking for select places to augment their current AWS holdings. Don’t be disappointed if they don’t get a lot or “can’t compete”. Their strategy is to get Wideband out to as many places as possible. Preferably on AWS. Its not unlike Verizon. However, unlike Verizon, TMUS already has a lot of AWS. What they don’t have a lot of is <1Ghz bandwidth. So save your money TMUS, go get that 700mhz A band instead and wait for the 600Mhz next year! And oh btw folks, don't forget, not that FirstNet needs have been met, the FCC may allocate MORE 600mhz to carriers other than AT&T and Verizon.

    • k

      I meant 600mhz in 2016. Auction rules to be voted on Dec. 11 by the FCC

    • Johnny Diaz

      TMUS is more concerned about it’s network of WiFi.

      Also, few people know this, but often Comcast Business-Class connects T-Mobile towers together. Chances are that if your not on Edge-Speeds, then oftentimes, you can generally also get high-speed internet from Comcast.

  • superg05

    there trying to squeeze t-mobile out by raising the roof and dish might troll raise bid to force a consolidation with t-mobile since they could not afford it in the auction

  • Joel

    Lower spectrum would be the best for building penetration. So I would go for 600/700. At least I’m pretty sure of it

  • fentonr

    I’d like to see T-Mobile take their pennies and buy a bunch of rural spectrum and build it out. They have sufficient spectrum in most large cities for the short term. When I comes to rural coverage though, its just bad. No spectrum at all.

    • guy

      aws isnt good spectrum for a rural buildout. they’ve been acquiring all the 700mhz block a they can get their hands on for this exact reason.

      also, 2g areas will all be upgraded to lte within a year on either PCS or aws. 5mhz is enough to get 30mbps consistently in rural areas, so supplementing these areas with more high band is somewhat of a waste anyway.

      • eAbyss

        Most of their 2g upgrades are to HSPA+, not LTE. It’s cheaper and quicker for them to upgrade to HSPA+ than it is to LTE so unfortunately they’re keeping LTE to the more populated areas.

  • Bourgeois

    Just wondering, where does all this money go and how is it used?

    More importantly, with so much money paying for these licenses, why am I then charged additional taxes every month on my bill?

    I feel repeatably violated.

    • der

      welcome to America

    • AB87

      To pay for Obama phones..

      • Typical rwnj. Always politicizing things.

        • Jay Holm

          It’s true. Government dependency forfeits freedom.

        • Sectime

          Say that when the next disaster hits your part of the world. You are free to leave.

      • Stone Cold

        This program has been in place for a long time now and pre-dates President Obama’s terms in office. Was for landlines before cellphones.

      • eAbyss

        You mean Bush phones?

  • monkeybutts

    Hope with the auction we can at least get everyone up to 20×20.

    • Jay Holm

      That’s exactly what my hopes are! I’m hoping we’ll know something no later than this Friday!

  • 9to5Slavery

    What about St. Louis area? 700mhz? Wide band?

  • I think that T-Mobile needs to go after the 800 and 900 spectrum, in addition to the 700 and 600. Also, they need to put more 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100 towers up along the Edisto River in S.C. from Ridge Spring to Reevesville.

    • Jay Holm

      Umm…800, 900, 1800, and I think 1900 are not T-Mobile spectrum, none of those are.

      • Wrong about 1900. That is T-Mobile spectrum, and in fact, the new 4G towers they’re putting up in S.C., including in my part of the state, is 1900.

        800 and 900 are not. 1700 is not T-Mobile spectrum outside of the 25 largest markets. The reason I mentioned 800 and 900 is because there are companies much smaller than American Telephone & Telegraph and Sprint that have such spectrum and it would be a good idea to negotiate with those companies, esp. in areas where interference from Channel 51 exists, like my local market area (Augusta, Ga.), for example.

        • Johnny Diaz

          Channel numbers can be dynamically set. It’s a part of the channel metadata.

          Also, I think it won’t be long before AT&T goes to Germany and offers to provide service on an MVNO basis (Similar to Cricket rateplans) using the superior AT&T network.

          If AT&T does a network agreement like this, then the FCC can re-auction T-Mobile’s PCS, AWS and 700MHz airwaves, and everyone benefits..!

        • Johnny Diaz

          There’s no 900MHz spectrum available in the USA. It’s already in-use, and allocated to another other purpose. It looks like it’s for Land Mobile communications. Possibly on ships.

          When the US Government makes airwaves available, it’s usually only because someone else relinquished or abandoned the license. It’s not as easy as flipping a switch.

          Do a Google Search for “United States Frequency Allocations Chart 2003” and you’ll see how crowded the airwaves are already.

    • Kidney_Thief

      900? 1800? What continent do you think you’re on? Neither of those bands are used in North America for cell service.

      T-Mobile needs to focus on acquiring 700 MHz spectrum in anticipation for the 600 MHz auction, and building out their network, that’s it.

    • Johnny Diaz

      There’s no 900MHz spectrum available in the USA. It’s already in-use, and allocated to another other purpose. It looks like it’s for Land Mobile communications. Possibly on ships.

      When the US Government makes airwaves available, it’s usually only because someone else relinquished or abandoned the license. It’s not as easy as flipping a switch.

      Do a Google Search for “United States Frequency Allocations Chart 2003” and you’ll see how crowded the airwaves are already.