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FCC AWS spectrum auction concludes
Posted: 19-Sep-2006 [Source: FCC]

[Advanced Wireless Serivce (AWS) auction closes raising $13.9 billion. Top bidders include: T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, SpectrumCO LLC, MetroPCS, and Cingular.]

Washington, DC -- The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) first auction of Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) spectrum licenses ended on September 18, 2006. A total of 1,122 licenses were offered in the auction, and 104 bidders won 1,087 licenses. The AWS licenses can be used to provide any of a wide array of innovative wireless services and technologies, including voice, data, video, and other wireless broadband services offered over Third Generation ("3G") mobile networks. The licenses offered in the auction encompassed a range of geographic area and megahertz sizes in order to accommodate the varying spectrum needs of different types of wireless providers, including those serving rural areas.

Auction No. 66 began on August 9, 2006, and closed after 161 rounds of bidding, raising total gross bids of nearly $13.9 billion. The top five winning bidders based on the net amount of their winning bids include: T-Mobile License LLC; Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless; SpectrumCo LLC; MetroPCS AWS, LLC; and Cingular AWS, LLC. More than half of the winning bidders in the auction certified their qualifications as small business entities, enabling them to use bidding credits. The unsold licenses remain held by the FCC and will be made available again in a future auction.

All winning bidders must make down payments on their licenses within ten business days after the release of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's Public Notice announcing the close of the auction. Winning bidders must also file their long-form applications (FCC Form 601) with the FCC within the same period. The grant of these licenses to the winning bidders is dependent upon the timely submission of their down payments and final payments, and the review of their long-form applications.

As required by the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act (CSEA) for this auction, the FCC set a reserve price to cover the estimated relocation costs of Federal stations occupying 1710-1755 MHz, the frequencies covered by half of each AWS license in the auction. Net bids had to total at least $2.06 billion in order to conclude the auction in compliance with CSEA and the reserve.

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