FCC’s 600MHz incentive auction completes Stage 3, clearing cost still not met


The FCC’s 600MHz incentive auction rolled on today with the completion of Stage 3, and it went pretty much just like the past stages did.

The clearing cost for Stage 3 of the reverse auction was set at $40.3 billion, which is the target amount that the bidders in the auction would need to offer for the auction to continue forward. However, the bidders only offered up $19.7 billion for the 108MHz of spectrum that would result in 80MHz for wireless use.

So now that Stage 3 is complete and the clearing cost and bids are still far apart, we’ll move on to Stage 4. The FCC will talk to the TV broadcasters that currently own the spectrum, work to lower the amount that’ll be available, and then come back with a lower clearing cost to see if the bidders — which include T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon — to see if their offer can match the new clearing cost.

It’s expected that Stage 4 will begin on December 13. It’s unclear what the new clearing cost will be, but considering how far apart the Stage 3 clearing cost and total bids were, the new clearing cost will probably to be quite a bit lower if this incentive auction is going to avoid Stage 5.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: FCC

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  • SirStephenH

    Geez. At this rate T-Mobile should just go for a nationwide license.

    • Walt


      • Zach Mauch

        I believe that means 10 for upload and 10 for download. 20 total.

        • SirStephenH

          Correct but he was responding to my original post. He was wondering if I was thinking 10×10.

    • jane hicks

      a 5x5mhz?

    • SirStephenH

      10×10 would be perfect but I don’t know if it’s obtainable. At least 5×5 nationwide plus more in areas that need more capacity and areas that don’t have band 12. If they could coble together at least 20Mhz of lowband nationwide between band 12 and 600Mhz that would take care of a lot of their coverage and capacity issues.

  • Ralphy

    Not sure why but in Utah I am having a hard time getting LTE. I am also dropping a lot more calls than normal.

    • Tanner

      They are deploying Band 12 in Utah. The service gets finniky whenever they do upgrades.

    • Bradley Karas

      Same thing is happening in Tampa…they are just completing major band 12 expansion as well as deploying band 2 LTE

    • Dan

      I’m also getting a lot more dropped calls in Seattle. Noticing LTE does not drop down to 4G when the signal is low. Just drops the call. I think it’s a carrier setting related to the iPhone 7. I had that phone but switched back to the 6s after very poor service.

      • SirStephenH

        The iPhone 7 uses two different modems in the US, one variant has the standard CDMA/GSM modem and the other has a GSM only modem. The CDMA/GSM variant is sold through CDMA carriers (Sprint, Verizon) and has had very few complaints while the GSM only variant is sold through GSM carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T) and has seen many complaints about reception. Third party tests have also confirmed that the GSM variant has weaker reception. No one knows why Apple created two US variants this time around but the most likely reason is to shave a little off the manufacturing costs.

  • Jay Holm

    So dissapointing that 2016 is going to come to an end and still no definitive news on this auction!!!

    • a d00d

      What are you talking about, the news is VERY definitive: the NAB (and perhaps the FCC as well) feel their spectrum is worth far more than the carriers do–as of this auction, a little more than double, to be exact. If the prices come down much more, I would expect to see broadcasters in certain markets (and maybe all of them via the NAB) try to shut the whole process down. (FWIW, I’ve always said the broadcasters value their spectrum much more than it actually is because they live in their high castle separate from the real world: this just proves it.) I don’t know yet if this would be easier with Trump-appointed commissioners or not since we’re dealing with a business vs business situation instead of a business vs consumer situation, where the consumer is guaranteed to lose.

      • Jay Holm

        You asked me “what amakes I talking about”? Way, way back in spring of THIS year I thought this auction would be over before the end of 2016, and we would know definitively how much 600 licenses T-Mobile got nationwide…I was expressing dissappintment that this is the end of the year and there are no results. Now it will be Jun/Jul/Aug who knowshe when before anything is known!