Serious Bidders To Make Initial Spectrum Payments Jan. 4


The deadline for making “upfront payments” in the 700 MHz spectrum auction is Friday, which will reveal how many of the companies which applied are truly serious about placing bids. Participants must submit a so-called “upfront payment”, which varies depending on how much they intend to buy, in order to be eligible to bid. The FCC said the deadline for making the payment is 6 p.m. Eastern Jan. 4.

Of those that applied to participate in the auction the FCC accepted 96, and ruled that 170 applications were incomplete. Those with incomplete applications also have until Jan. 4 to resubmit their applications with the deficiencies rectified. The auction has drawn a lot of attention because of the big names interested, including Paul Allen, Google (NSDQ: GOOG), EchoStar (NSDQ: DISH), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). In the end, the bidders will need much more than the initial payment. The coveted C-Block has a reserve price of $4.6 billion, and other smaller chunks have minimum opening bids of up to $59 million.

The FCC requires any companies that have defaulted on payments to pay 50 percent more than other participants. On Dec. 26, the FCC denied Frontier Wireless’s request to waive the rule on its behalf. The FCC considers Frontier a previous defaulter because of its parent company EchoStar, which failed to make payments because bills went to the wrong address in connection with an acquisition. EchoStar did pay the $75,738.80 plus late fees of $1,161.24.

The official site for the auction is here.

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