Verizon dominated the C Band auction, spending $45.45 billion for 3,500 licenses

5G C Band auction

Verizon won spectrum worth $45.45 billion in the C Band auction, to build itself a nationwide footprint of midband airwaves for 5G. That sum is nearly double the amount spent by the second-highest bidder, AT&T.

Forty-five billion dollars is as much as the state of New Jersey’s proposed budget for the coming year. As much as the entire U.S. transportation sector received in the last coronavirus relief bill. More than the entire annual GDP of countries like Cameroon, Tunisia or Paraguay. More than five times the amount that Verizon spent on Yahoo and AOL combined.

The C Band auction raised a gross total of $81.17 billion, smashing the previous auction record of $44 billion raised in the AWS-3 auction that ran in 2014-2015 and raised nearly $45 billion. Verizon, by itself, spent more on C Band spectrum than the AWS-3 auction raised from all bidders.

Verizon won 3,511 licenses in all of the 406 geographic Partial Economic Areas that make up the United States.

The top bidders in terms of dollar amounts were:

-Verizon: $45.455 billion for 3,511 licenses in 406 PEAs

-AT&T: $23.407 billion for 1,621 licenses in 406 PEAs

-T-Mobile US: $9.336 billion for 142 licenses in 72 PEAs

-US Cellular: $1.283 billion for 252 licenses in 99 PEAs

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Picture: starline/Freepik