The FCC's Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum auction has concluded with 1,087 licenses auctioned off for nearly $14 billion.
T-Mobile, the top bidder, declined Monday to discuss in detail its plans for the licenses, citing FCC restrictions. The company, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, said it bid about $4.182 billion for the licenses covering the continental United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands and Alaska. T-Mobile's new licenses also cover New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
T-Mobile is the fourth largest mobile phone service provider in the U.S. Like the largest provider -- Cingular Wireless " T-Mobile uses the European-developed GSM standard, which is being upgraded to 3G network technology. The second top bidder in the auction was Verizon Wireless, which offered $2.8 billion for 13 licenses. Verizon Wireless, ranked second in size in the cell phone category, uses CDMA technology as does the next-in-size, Sprint.
If all the funds bid in the auction are collected, the auction will go down as the highest amount ever raised in a spectrum sale.
Steve Largent, president and CEO of wireless trade association CTIA, praised the FCC for running a "smooth and successful auction" and said the coming 700 MHz auction will be important in providing wireless services for consumers and the public safety community.