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U.S. Airwaves Bidding Tops $13 Bln; 38 Have Withdrawn
Posted: 06-Jan-2001 [Source: Bloomberg]

[Sprint exec says some prices "stratospheric."]

by Jonathan Cox, Washington -- "Sprint Corp., Alltel Corp. and Nextel Communications Inc. are among 38 wireless phone companies that have dropped out of a U.S. auction of new airwaves as bids in the sale exceed $13 billion.

"At the end of 31 rounds, 49 of the original 87 participants remain in the auction dominated by Verizon Wireless Inc. and ventures that include large carriers such as AT&T Wireless Group and Cingular Wireless. Verizon has total bids of $5.5 billion, the highest among all the auction participants.

"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is selling 422 licenses for airwaves that can be used to offer voice and data services, including more advanced wireless technologies that combine fast Internet service with video and other features. Bids are highest for the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago markets.


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