After a year of talks, the FCC announced that T-Mobile won their $8B bid for 1,500 wireless licenses in the 600MHz frequency range that we know as LTE.
Which would be a big deal… if Verizon and AT&T hadn’t already had this coverage for years.
In fact, the big 2 didn’t even really participate in the auction, since they’re already eyeing the juicy 5G technology looming in the near future. So this is pretty much just T-Mobile’s attempt to hang with the big dogs.
But, their upgrades don’t fully kick in until 2020, so they’re still not 100% caught up. Slow clap for participation.
It’s all about handing over the keys to the kingdom
The auction was a pretty interesting maneuver by the FCC.
To transfer TV broadcast frequencies to other industries in need of sweet, sweet bandwidth, they first bought unused spectrum from 175 TV stations in a reverse auction (where the sellers bids to the buyer).
Then, they solicited bids for waves, raising $10B for the stations… and $7.3B towards the national debt.
So all in all, a pretty smart way for the government to skim a little off the top, while helping folks stream more junk in more places than ever before.