700MHz: Early Weekend

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The FCC’s 700 MHz auction is off for an early weekend break after four rounds of bidding. It has netted more than $3.7 billion — not bad for two days work.

The auction postponed a fifth round of bidding until Monday, reports RCR News. So far the auction has gathered bids for 921 licenses with some 178 licenses yet to receive a bid.

The eight C-Block licenses covering the 50 states continued to attract the highest bidding. One new bid in round four pushed the price to nearly $1.8 billion. A minimum of $4.6 billion is necessary to trigger the open-access provision for the C Block. Some observers believe Google will meet that minimum.

For a third straight round, the controversial national commercial-public safety D-Block license did not receive any interest and continues to have a potential winning bid of $472 million posted during the opening round of bidding. The FCC has set a $1.3 billion reserve price on that license.

A total of 62 MHz will be auctioned; 30 Mhz in the Lower 700MHz band, 32 Mhz in the Upper 700MHz band.

The FCC, using AWS bidding figures, says the auction could generate some $10-$15 billion for the treasury, but actual bids could — in theory — go much higher since 700 MHz requires only about one third the number of cell towers for similar coverage.

RCR News and Blog Runner have the latest.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, January 25th, 2008 at 12:42 pm .

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