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Round 24: AWS-3 Tops $31 Billion

Bidding had slacked off slightly in round 24 of the FCC's AWS-3 auction of 65 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband—AT&T and Veizon are the largest bidders for the spectrum—but the bidding total increased by more than a billion to $31,023,844,700 on 549 bids.

One of the licenses for New York—there are five licenses up for bid in the market—continued to hold the top spot at a bid of $1.8 billion.

The auction has met both of its reserve prices, and has now brought in more than double some pre-auction estimates. That could raise the expectations, and prices, for the broadcast incentive auction, which will likely be for even more spectrum, and of a type even more attractive for wireless broadband given its propagation characteristics.

The AWS-3 auction's success has also reduced the financial pressure on the incentive auction, since some of the things that auction would have had to pay for, like the FirstNet network ($7 billion) have already been covered by AWS-3.

The auction will continue until there are no more bids or waivers.