Sci-Tech

5G auctions in the US top $ 76.5 billion

Since December 8, US telecommunications operators have been fighting frantically over the valuable 5G frequency bands. A struggle on such a scale it just exceeded $ 76.5 billion. An absolute record that goes far beyond any forecasts made by specialists and, according to Bloomberg, is far from over.

Auctions that defy all expectations

After a break during the holiday season, the auction of 5G frequency bands in the US has picked up again. It was organized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and started with 57 potential bidders in early December 2020. Including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Dish Network, Comcast and Charter Communications.

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In a matter of days, sales exceeded analyst estimates for a final figure of $ 47 billion, based on the results of the last auction held by the FCC in 2015, which brought in $ 45. Billion dollars. What’s even more impressive is that the auctions just hit $ 76.5 billion this Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

An absolute record that is far from over. If the trend continues, the total amount raised by the FCC could climb to $ 80 billion, as the auctions are expected to go on for another week, and maybe more, according to Sasha Javid, COO. for the company BitPath.

Verizon and AT&T are ready to go into debt for 5G

At the start of the auction, the largest buyers had a budget of around $ 70 billion. With just a total amount already higher than the original envelope, it now seems obvious that many companies like Verizon, AT&T, Dish and Comcast have to go into debt in order to finally acquire their precious 5G frequency bands.

In addition, Verizon (which was announced as the largest bidder) found a competitor of size. With the financial support of Deutsche Telekom AG, the operator T-Mobile was particularly evident in this sale.

According to Sasha Javid, the noose is tightening for Verizon: “If Verizon doesn’t get that spectrum, we can practically say that it lost the race to 5G.” On the T-Mobile side, the opportunity is too good to be overlooked. Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst at New Street Research, said the operator already has a “strong network advantage,” and these new frequency bands would allow it to consolidate its authority even further.

We understand that this auction is vital for companies trying to take the global leadership role in developing new 5G technologies. It remains to be seen who will be successful and, above all, at what price … To be continued.

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