There’s some big wireless news out today, as the FCC has announced the results of the 600MHz spectrum auction that kicked off last year.
The FCC says that there were a total of 50 winning bidders and $19.8 billion in bids. There was 70MHz of licensed spectrum up for grabs, and a total of 14MHz was made available for unlicensed use and wireless microphones.
The biggest winners of the auction were T-Mobile, Dish, Comcast, and US Cellular. T-Mobile won the most of any company, snagging 45 percent of all of the spectrum sold in the auction and spending $7.99 billion to do so.
T-Mobile ended up with 1,525 licenses and 31MHz nationwide on average, which quadruples its existing low-band spectrum holdings. T-Mo CTO Neville Ray has said that T-Mobile will begin deploying its new spectrum this year in both new and existing markets, but Ray didn’t say which markets those will be.
Of course, you’ll also need a device capable of accessing these 600MHz airwaves in order to take advantage of ‘em. Qualcomm is currently working on chipsets that support 600MHz spectrum, and T-Mo estimates that we could start seeing some smartphone makers selling 600MHz-capable devices this year.
Other winners of note in the FCC’s 600MHz auction include Dish, which bid $6.2 billion for 486 licenses; Comcast, which bid $1.7 billion for 73 licenses; AT&T, which bid $910,200 for 23 licenses; and US Cellular, which bid $328,700 for 188 licenses. You can check out the full list of winners right here.