Some 23 qualified bidders vied for 10 MHz of paired spectrum (1915-1920 /1995-2000 MHz) but in the end Dish walked away with it all.
The auction closed Thursday, more than a month after it started. The bidding stopped precisely on the reserve price the FCC set and Dish promised to meet, winning all 176 licenses.
Dish last year promised to bid at least $1.56 billion in the H Block auction and in return, it petitioned the FCC for waiver of certain technical rules governing its AWS-4 spectrum, as well as additional time in deploying a network on that spectrum.
Dish requested up to 30 months to designate its AWS spectrum for uplink or downlink.
While Dish further enriched its spectrum portfolio, the FCC applauded the incoming funds for FirstNet.
“With this successful auction, the Commission makes good on its commitment to unleash more spectrum for consumers and businesses, delivering a significant down payment towards funding the nationwide interoperable public safety network,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement.
Dish now has 10 MHz near 2GHz and 40 MHz of MSS spectrum adjacent to it. Dish also owns a 5 GHz swath on the 700 MHz band. That totals 55 MHz. Dish’s 2×20 MHz channels can deliver 300Mb/s with 50Mbit upload using LTE Cat 6.
Dish has not yet made its plans public, but Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen recently confirmed he has no intentions of entering a bidding war with SoftBank and Sprint for T-Mobile.
One possibility, says Wireless Week, is a network sharing agreement between the companies and Dish. That plan would give Dish a network for its airwaves.
Dish and Sprint will test fixed TD-LTE, beginning mid-2014. The trial will involve Dish installing outdoor or indoor routers that will take advantage of Sprint’s deployment in the 2.5 GHz band.
See Dailywireless: Dish: 5th Biggest Spectrum Holder, H-Block Auction Starts Today , H-Block Auction Surpasses $456 million, H-Block Auction Winding Down?, H-Block Auction: Dish Closes In, Sprint Spark: Firestarter or Blowing Smoke?, Dish and Sprint Test Fixed TD-LTE