Verizon and Dish Network won the lion’s share of the new 3.5GHz licenses in the latest federal auction and is expected to be used to grow their 5G coverage.
The FCC revealed Verizon spent $1.9 billion on 557 licenses, while Dish Network (participating as Wetterhorn Wireless) shelled out $912.9 million for 5,492.
Three cable companies rounded out the top spenders: Charter Communications bid $464.2 million on 210 licences; Comcast $458.7 million for 830; and Cox Communications $212.8 million on 470.
Cable companies previously expressed a desire to use the spectrum to reduce costs from their mobile MVNOs by boosting Wi-Fi offload capabilities.
T-Mobile spent $5.58 million on eight licenses, while AT&T left with none. The FCC also announced the sale brought in a total of $4.6 billion, with 20,625 of 22,631 licenses available sold.
In the US, the 3.5GHz band is shared between commercial and government users, and split into licensed and unlicensed tiers.
Unlicensed access was opened in January, but the recent sale was the first access to licensed.—
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