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Telcos Spar Over AWS-3 Auction

The real lesson from the AWS-3 spectrum auction is that Dish, not AT&T or Verizon, dominated, winning more licenses and more spectrum than any other bidder, said Kathleen Grillo, Verizon's senior VP for federal regulatory and legal affairs.

In a blog post, Grillo said that while T-Mobile and Sprint were saying AT&T and Verizon had dominated (collectively those two bid on $28 billion worth of spectrum while Dish, through two other companies, bid on $13 billion worth), the reality was that Dish bought 44% of the licenses in the auction, while AT&T and Verizon bought a combined 27% of licenses; AT&T and Verizon got the lion's share of the more valuable paired spectrum, which is why the percentage of licenses is lower but the price higher.

T-Mobile and Sprint are pushing the Federal Communications Commission to make sure that, in the upcoming incentive auction, the agency sets aside low-band spectrum for bidders other than Verizon and AT&T to ensure there is not a repeat of their "domination" of AWS-3. Grillo said the facts don't support such a move.

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