The government auctioned off more of the 5G wireless spectrum, and the big winner was… wait for it… Verizon. Not surprisingly, the nation’s largest wireless carrier dropped billions to score some valuable spectrum it can use to expand its highly-marketable 5G footprint.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, which ran the auction, Verizon was the highest bidder offering $45 billion for 280 megahertz of prime mid-band spectrum in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band.
AT&T was the second-highest bidder with $23 billion, while T-Mobile came in after with a $9.3 billion bid. Twenty-one bidders participated including satellite and TV providers such as Dish, Comcast, and Charter.
The competition was fierce as wireless carriers race to roll out their 5G networks at a fast and furious pace. The auction, which started in December, brought in a whopping $81.2 billion, almost doubling analysts’ estimates of $47 billion.
The mid-band 5G spectrum on the auction block previously was used by satellite companies, who will be paid an additional $13 billion to vacate this spectrum and move to different frequencies, reports Fortune.