Top Three Winners in FCC Auction 97 Gain 93% of Available Licenses

The FCC's Auction 97 has finally come to an end
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WASHINGTON�The FCC's Auction 97 has finally come to an end. The gross proceeds totaled $44.9B.

The licenses that were up for bid are spread across the 1.7/2.1 GHz bands known as AWS-3. These include three 5�5 MHz licenses (G-, H- and I-Blocks) and a single 10�10 MHz license (J-Block). The G-Block licenses are broken down into �commercial'' market area-sized licenses, for a total of 734 licenses covering the country, according to RCRwireless.com. The remaining blocks are �economic'' area-sized for a total of 176 licenses that cover the country. The 15 MHz of unpaired spectrum is split into two licenses, one with 5 MHz of total spectrum parsed out on an EA basis, and the other with 10 MHz of spectrum also in an EA configuration.

AT&T and Verizon Wireless were the big winners, not unexpectedly. Both combined account for about two thirds of the winning bids. AT&T''s total comes out to $18.2B, while VZW''s is $10.4B.

Dish Network''s total adds up to about $10B. They''ve participated in past auctions as well, but have yet to make use of their newly gained assets. T-Mobile won about $1.8B in new licenses. 31 of the auction''s initial 70 qualified bidders won at least one license.

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