The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has closed bidding in the AWS-3 auction.
In an announcement late Wednesday, the FCC said Blocks G, H, I and J garnered no bids or withdrawals during Round 337. Since no proactive activity waivers had been placed and the reserve price has already been met, the Commission closed bidding on those blocks: G Block (1755-1760/2155-2160 MHz), H Block (1760-1765/2160-2165 MHz), I Block (1765-1770/2165-2170 MHz), and J Block(1770-1780/2170-2180 MHz). H, I and J are broken up into 176 licenses each based on economic areas (EA) and G is broken up into 734 licenses based on cellular market areas (CMA).
On Thursday, the AWS-3 auction came to a close, netting total revenue just short of $44.9 billion. The FCC said it will announce results within the next few business days.
The auction has slowed considerably after a fast start, essentially stalling out just short of $45 billion. That revenue mark is still far ahead of what the FCC expected to earn from the auction.
Analysts estimate the bulk of the proceeds came from AT&T and Verizon, each of which might have spent $15 billion to $20 billion on the auction. It’s possible that both carriers bid around each other since the AWS-3 band plan made it possible for two carriers to land 20 MHz of spectrum.
The paired blocks have earned the largest bids in many markets. The J Block license for New York City alone has pulled in nearly $3 billion.
Besides AT&T and Verizon, major bidders include T-Mobile and Dish Network.