updated 10:35 pm EST, Tue March 4, 2014
Move likely used to bolster nationwide cell offerings by Dish
The first round of FCC wireless bandwidth auctions has concluded, with the Dish Network purchasing all of the 1,900MHz license nearly uncontested. With nearly no competition, Dish shelled out $1.6 billion for the acquisition under the cover of a shell company, as expected.
Dish is attempting to expand its empire into becoming a wireless carrier. The company notably failed to acquire Sprint in the face of competition from Softbank, later losing out on Clearwire and withdrawing a $2.2 billion bid for LightSquared and its L-band satellite spectrum.
Over the next two years, the FCC is expected to hold auctions for 50MHz of AWS-3 spectrum, as well as for broadcast TV spectrum in mid-2015. Including these auctions and other sales, the four major carriers and Dish are expected to spend somewhere in the region of $46 billion in spectrum licenses over the next 24 months.