Sunday, February 17, 2008

Spectrum Auction: The Cash Cow is Slowing Down

17 days and 81 rounds into the 700 Mhz spectrum auction and the total bid amount is up to a whopping $19.5 Billion!

The question keeps popping up: who are the top contenders? The auction is silent so we really will not know until the auction ends. There are 214 approved bidders. Most industry experts speculate that Verizon and AT&T have been the most aggressive of the bidders. Some have even speculated that Google dropped out. Although, frankly, these allegations seems a little unfounded.

Block C is the most sought after chunk of spectrum because it is national. While some speculate Verizon has been aggressively pursuing this block, others expect a more tricky move to bid on the cheaper regional blocks.

The winner of the other national block, Block D, would have to build out a network that would have to be shared with the government to offer public safety services. Not surprisingly, the bidding for Block D has not gone as wished for by the FCC – still about $800 Million from the $1.3 Billion reserve price – and the Block will likely be put for bid at a later date.

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