Entries with tag us spectrum auctions.

Massive US Wireless-Spectrum Auction Opens with Huge Bids

After 32 rounds of bidding, offers by mobile-service providers in what is shaping up to be a massive auction of US wireless spectrum licenses have reached $36.4 billion. This far surpasses the minimum $10.07 billion the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it will accept before distributing licenses. The ongoing auction is for licenses to use the AWS-3 spectrum band—frequencies between 2155 and 2175 MHz—in various parts of the US. The spectrum is typically utilized for cellular-telephone and Internet services and other types of fixed and mobile communications. Carriers have expressed particular interest in using the available spectrum to bolster high-speed LTE networks in major cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The FCC doesn’t release the identity of bidders until the auction ends in a few weeks, but participants reportedly include most of the major national and some regional telecommunications providers. Notably, though, national carrier Sprint isn’t taking part. Some of the auction proceeds will be used to create the $7 billion FirstNet (First Responder Network Authority), a national broadband network for first responders to disasters and emergencies. The US government will use other proceeds to decrease its budget deficit. Industry observers note that the high bids in the current auction may be a sign of things to come in future similar events. (re/Code)(Fierce Wireless)(CTIA-The Wireless Association Blog)(The United States Federal Communications Commission)

AT&T May Back Out of US Spectrum Auction

AT&T is threatening not to participate in a major US spectrum auction of airwaves if regulators reserve some spectrum for smaller companies. The US Federal Communications Commission is drafting rules for a pending auction of spectrum now being used by television stations. The draft proposal would set aside up to 30 MHz of spectrum in each market for those wireless carriers without dominant blocks of low-frequency spectrum, according to Reuters. Wireless carriers are keen to secure precious spectrum to ensure they can deliver faster, better services to consumers. AT&T, the second-largest wireless carrier in the US, says these limits would cause it to rethink participating in the auction. “AT&T has never declined to participate in a major spectrum auction and certainly did not intend to do so here,” stated Joan Marsh, vice president of federal regulatory affairs at AT&T. “But if the restrictions as proposed are adopted, AT&T will need to seriously consider whether its capital and resources are directed toward other spectrum opportunities that will better enable AT&T to continue to support high quality LTE network deployments to serve its customers.” The auction, in which television spectrum would be relinquished to the government for sale at auction to wireless companies, is slated to occur in mid-2015. Commissioners are expected to formalize the rules at their 15 May meeting. (Reuters)(The Washington Post)

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