Are T-Mobile, Comcast The Big Spectrum Auction Spenders?


If the estimates of UBS analyst John Hodulik are correct, a wireless carrier said to be courting Sprint and one of the nation’s biggest MVPDs are the top two bidders in the just-concluded Forward Auction.

How much did they spend? As Hodulik sees it, some 75% of the spectrum offered up in the incentive auction has been gobbed up by these two companies: T-Mobile and Comcast.

According to Investors Business Daily, T-Mobile’s investment for some 30 MHz in spectrum will come at a cost ranging from $8 billion to $10 billion.

At the same time, Comcast is poised to write a check of between $5 billion and $6 billion for some 20 MHz of spectrum.

Other bidders weren’t so thirsty, Hodulik says. Getting 5 MHz of spectrum apiece are AT&T, Verizon Communications and DISH Network.

The biggest takeaway for Hodulik? T-Mobile is poised to be a truly competitive player in rural America, where it has lacked coverage against AT&T and Verizon. However, AT&T on Thursday won the FirstNet bid, and will build a national wireless first-alert network designed expressly for public safety.

The official results of the spectrum auction are expected to surface in two weeks.