While the AWS 3 spectrum auction barely started back in the middle of November, Fierce Wireless reports that it is likely to near a close soon, with the bids passing the mark of $43.764 billion at this stage in the auction. The auction is currently past round 92 as it has just hit a close, which in contrast to nearly a month ago on November 21st when they had recently closed at round 24 with bids passing $31 billion, it seems like the auction has been steadily slowing down. Round 92 ushered in about 49 new bids, where as round 68 last week had a total of 155 bids. Even though it seems like the auction is starting to reach a slower pace the auction will remain in operation until there are no new incoming bids for spectrum.
With the auction still going, it isn’t known exactly how much each major carrier here in the U.S. will spend on bid totals, but as of last month analysts began to piece together how much each carrier would be spending in total this auction. With Verizon Wireless and AT&T being the bigger carriers with the deeper pockets, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they would end up spending the most, and according to the analysts it Verizon and AT&T were both projected to spend a little over $14 billion each, with T-Mobile, the nation’s smallest carrier of the big four spending around $1.4 billion in total as of last month, and that number has likely risen slightly since then.
Throughout the entirety of the AWS 3 auction the bidding has been spread out over a variety of different spectrum, consisting mostly of paired spectrum ranging from the 1755-1780 MHz bands utilized for uplink, and 2155-2180 MHz utilized for downlink. There has been some bidding on the unpaired spectrum as well which contains the 1695-1710 MHz bands but it has seen nowhere near the amount of bids as the paired spectrum. Pending how the AWS 3 auction went, the FCC would have had to dump some focus into making the auction for 600MHz broadcast TV spectrum a success, but it looks like they won’t have to worry so much about it at this point as the AWS 3 auction has gone fairly well.