Like an eBay(s ebay) listing for a vintage Def Leppard concert T-Shirt, the Federal Communications Commission’s first spectrum auction in six years reached its reserve price of $1.56 billion and then promptly came to a halt with no further bids. Given the lack of carrier interest in Auction 96 and the 10 MHz of PCS spectrum it offered, the lackluster result is hardly a shock. Nor are we likely going to be surprised by the winners when the FCC announces them next month. Dish Network(s dish) had promised to bid the reserve price for this spectrum, and barring any surprises, it likely ran away with these airwaves.
The PCS H-block auction only accounts for a small amount of spectrum, but given the ridiculously high value carriers have put on mobile airwaves recently, it’s bound to attract attention.
Dish finally has permission to become a full-fledged cellular network operator, though it remains to be seen whether it will actually become one. The FCC also set the wheels rolling for an auction next year of new 4G licenses that Sprint has been eyeing.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to grant Dish’s wish for an LTE network, but he’s attached a few caveats. He proposes that Dish rein its network, and the satellite provider is none too pleased.