The FCC on Wednesday granted 4,041 flexible-use licenses for wireless services in the 3.45 GHz band to winning bidders in Auction 110. The auction closed in January.
The five bidders with the largest total gross bids were: AT&T: $9.1B; DISH (bidding as Weminuche): $7.3B; T-Mobile: $2.9B; 345 Spectrum: $1.3B and UScellular: $579M. Verizon did not bid, Inside Towers reported.
The five bidders winning the most licenses were: AT&T: 1,624; DISH: 1,232; UScellular: 380; Cherry Wireless: 319 and T-Mobile: 199.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said, “The Commission structured this auction with diversity and competition front of mind. The licenses we are granting today represent a wider variety of providers, including small businesses and rural carriers, who will help deliver on the promise of 5G to every corner of the country.” She added the agency is building on the success of this auction and preparing for the 2.5 GHz auction in July.
The 3.45 GHz auction resulted in gross proceeds exceeding $22.5 billion. Thirteen of the 23 companies with winning bids qualified as small businesses or as entities serving rural communities.
Compared to the prior 5G auction of spectrum in the 3.7 GHz band, this auction saw a “substantial” increase in the number of winning bidders per market, according to the agency. More than one-third of the top 100 markets have at least four winning bidders, compared with 10 percent of the top 100 markets for Auction 107 (3.7 GHz band).
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief