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 (opens in new tab), 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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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.