If you have been following the carrier news over the last few months, then it was pretty much impossible for you to miss the headlines surrounding the AWS-3 spectrum auction. This was an ongoing saga where over a long period of time, all the carriers were bidding for the share of spectrum. Well, the auction came to a head back at the end of January. That said, at the time, few new the overall results and who, if anyone, was the big winner. Well, when the sealed envelopes were opened and bids counted, it seemed Dish were one of the surprise winners in the auction, securing a surprising large amount of the spectrum on offer.
That of course, did not stop the likes of Verizon coming out last month and declaring that they thought Dish had cheated in securing spectrum by unfairly securing discounts on the spectrum. In fact, Verizon were not alone in their belief, with AT&T also filing a complaint with the FCC, claiming similar Dish complaints. Well, in some sense, AT&T and Verizon have seen a small win (from their perspective) today, in the terms of the allocated spectrum. That is because today saw the FCC approve both AT&T’s and Verizon’s newly purchased spectrum licences.
In fact, AT&T and Verizon were not alone with a number of other bidders including T-Mobile, also seeing their licences approved. That said, one of those who have yet to see their approval was Dish. In total there were eleven of the thirty one applications seeing their approval coming through. So Dish were also not alone. It is also worth noting, that the lack of approval has no significant impact on the status of the licence applications and nothing should be presumed based on the lack of approval from today. Instead, the FCC made it clear in a brief statement, that the only reason the others have not been approved, is because they are still reviewing the bidders applications. As such, there is no clear deadline or time frame in place to reference when the other bidders applications will also receive their approval. However, at least in terms of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, their AWS-3 spectrum has been now approved.