When we told you that the bidding between telecomms for the 1,122 licenses in the 2100 MHz spectrum would be fierce, we really didn’t have a number to put to that; now we do. The FCC is reporting that, as of Wednesday, the total cost of bidding for the wireless auction has reached 10.3 billion USD.
The auction so far has been defined by intense competition between cable and wireless companies, such as the war between partners Time Warner and Comcast with Cingular Wireless for a license in Boston. Right now Cingular is in the lead, but at the cost of 14 million USD.
“For now, traditional wireless carriers are beating back hefty bids from cable entrants but just barely,” Jessica Zufolo, a telecommunications analyst for Medley Global Advisors LLC, wrote in a report. “As the bidding war between wireless and cable intensifies, the price for each license continues to push upward.”
Of course, another major story to follow is the fate of T-Mobile USA, which needs these new licenses to upgrade their network and run future devices, a capacity its rivals already have. So far, T-Mobile has been bidding aggressively in an attempt to keep pace, winning 77 licenses at a cost of more than 3 billion USD.
BlackBerry Cool will keep you posted as more develops.