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Putting a Price on Mobility

Posted on April 17, 2017 by Matt Louden

How much is mobility worth? A few weeks ago, several wireless carriers came closer to answering that question.

At the end of last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded its first-ever broadcast incentive auction. Essentially, carriers each paid for a slice of a 70MHz spectrum to repurpose airwaves for mobile technologies. In total, the agency generated almost $20 billion in gross revenue from a handful of mobile network operators.

Of all bidders, T-Mobile was the biggest spender. The company outspent it’s second-place competitor, Comcast, by more than four to one. In total, T-Mobile paid $8 billion for 45% of the low-band spectrum sold at the auction. While it looks to have minimal impact on 5G moving forward, the purchase will soon give T-Mobile reliable 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage across the United States and Puerto Rico.

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