3G Auction Hits US$15 B

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

This an update on the 3G wireless network bidding in the U.S. according to the http://wirelessreporter.com/.

Wireless Auction Tops $15 Billion; Verizon Still Big Spender next Verizon Wireless http://www.verizon.com/ remains far and away the highest bidder in the Federal Communications Commission’s http://www.fcc.gov/ auction of 422 licenses to provide third-generation (3G) wireless voice services.

As of Friday, the bidding total stood at $15.3 billion, of which Verizon accounted for $6.2 billion. Two other giants, Cingular Wireless http://www.cingular.com/ and AT Wireless http://www.attws.com/ , have also stayed in the game, bidding $3.1 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively, through their smaller partners. Of the 87 original bidders, all but 39 have dropped out, including Sprint PCS http://www.sprintpcs.com/ and Nextel http://www.nextel.com/ . Many have said the price of the available licenses has risen far too high to justify their cost.

This U.S. auction appears to be in its final stages, and has reached the predicted $15-billion-to-$20-billion threshold.

While European and Asian auctions of 3G spectrum disappointed, due in part to a backlash against excessive prices paid in Germany and Great Britain, the U.S. re-auction of 3G licenses in the 1900 MHz spectrum, forfeited by NextWave Telecom http://www.nextwavetel.com/ , was expected to fetch higher prices because of the size of the U.S. market. Under FCC rules, the auction continues until no bids are topped.

New York City licenses remain the most sought-after, with Verizon bidding $1.6 billion, AT’s Alaska Native Wireless partner bidding $1.3 billion, and Cingular’s Salmon PCS bidding $1.2 billion.

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