After raising more than $2.7 billion in proceeds earlier this year, the FCC on Monday released the winning bidders of the agency’s first two high-band 5G spectrum auctions.
AT&T and T-Mobile emerged as top bidders in the 24 GHz auction, also known as Auction 102, while Verizon unsurprisingly came away with the majority of available 28 GHz licenses in Auction 101.
AT&T bolstered its millimeter wave spectrum holdings, spending about $982 million for 831 spectrum licenses in the 24 GHz band (and 383 PEAs), while T-Mobile scooped up 1,346 24 GHz licenses and 400 PEAs for about $803 million.
The 24 GHz auction offered licenses in major markets across the country, with both T-Mobile and AT&T scoring licenses in cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Baltimore, MD-Washington, DC, among others.
T-Mobile also won 865 licenses for spectrum in the 28 GHz band during Auction 101, bidding about $39.2 million in total. Verizon already has large 28 GHz spectrum holdings and was by far the top bidder in Auction 101, adding 1,066 licenses for $505.7 million. Verizon also picked up nine 24 GHz licenses for $15.2 million.
U.S Cellular made a strong appearance at both auctions, spending $129.4 million on 408 spectrum licenses in the 28 GHz band, and $126.5 million for 282 licenses in the 24 GHz band.
Other providers picking up 24 GHz licenses include Starry (104 spectrum licenses for $48.46 million) and Windstream (116 licenses for $20.43 million).
The FCC’s 28 GHz auction, which concluded Jan. 24, raised about $700 million in net bids, with 33 bidders winning 2,965 licenses. The 24 GHz auction wrapped up May 28 and raised about $2.02 billion in net bids, with 29 participants winning a total of 2,904 licenses.