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9/18/2006
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T-Mobile's $4 Billion Tops FCC's $14 Billion Spectrum Auction

T-Mobile declined Monday to discuss in detail its plans for the licenses it won, citing Federal Communications Commission restrictions.

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.

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