AT&T Buys 700 MHz Spectrum Licenses


[qi:045] As Google (GOOG) and Verizon (VZ) duke it out over the forthcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction, AT&T (T) has decided to spend the money and buy its way into the market. The company has announced that it is acquiring licenses in the 700 MHz spectrum from Aloha Partners, a privately-held spectrum speculator, for about $2.5 billion.

The licenses cover roughly 196 million POPs in 281 markets, including 72 of the top 100 and all the top 10 markets in the U.S., according to the AT&T press release. UBS analysts estimate that this works out to about $1.06/MHz/POP, which is twice the price paid last year as part of the AWS auctions.

The upcoming auction in the A and B spectrum blocks has reserved prices of $0.50/MHz/POP and $0.38/MHz/POP. UBS expects that will rise to at least $1/MHz/POP. AT&T just set that price.

Related Posts:

  1. Inside the 700 MHz landgrab
  2. 700 MHz Explained in 10 Easy Steps


Jorge Ortiz

Advanced Wireless spectrum is in the 1,710 to 1,755 MHz and 2,110 to 2,155-MHz bands… Not 700 MHz…

Jesse Kopelman

Om, there was never any doubt that the A and B blocks were going for over $1/pop/MHz. After all, the FCC valued that 1.9 GHz spectrum they swapped to Nextel at close to $2/pop/MHz. I’d be surprised if the A block doesn’t fetch similar numbers. Also, wasn’t AT&T one of the financiers behind Aloha Partners, anyway. I swear they were backed by the old AT&T Wireless. In reality, this may be a bit of an accounting move.

Jesse Kopelman

Dylan, you skipped a step. We are talking the price per pop/MHz. So take your $12.5/pop and divide that by 12MHz. You and up with $1.04/pop/MHz which is just a rounding error away from Om’s $1.06 . . .

Dylan Oliver

Unless my math is really suffering, $2.5 billion divided by 196 million people is $12.50 per person. Granted, most of it is in major markets. The spectrum just sold by Aloha was originally purchased in auction for about $43 million plus $10 million (Cavalier) plus $5 million (DataCom). The average per-person price in the original auction was about $0.50.

Dylan Oliver
Primaverity LLC


Wireless internet will become the backbone of this country’s communication infrastructure. Basic internet access will be the extent of ATT’s future.

No more need for cellular networks, cable, satellite, fiber optic . . .

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