AT&T bolsters 5G spectrum for $2.4 bn during FCC Auction 103

AT&T is the winning bidder for 5G spectrum licenses — worth $2.4 billion — covering more than 99 percent of the U.S. population following the close of FCC Auction 103.
AT&T campaignThe company’s winning bids will allow continued improvements and advancements to its wireless network.

AT&T said its existing spectrum allowed the telecom operator to add more coverage last year than any other wireless provider to serve businesses, consumers and first responders in the United States.

Consumers and business can access 5G on AT&T’s unlimited wireless plans. 5G+, which offers extra speed and capacity over high-band spectrum to serve high-traffic areas and places like arenas, campuses and more, is now available in parts of 35 cities for customers.

“The large, contiguous block of spectrum we won in Auction 103 will be important to maintaining our 5G leadership across the industry,” said Scott Mair, president, AT&T Technology & Operations.

AT&T improved its 39 GHz spectrum position to 786 MHz, an increase of 102 percent. Prior to Auction 103, AT&T acquired 379 MHz of 39 GHz spectrum when it purchased FiberTower for $207 million in 2018.

All 39 GHz licenses held by AT&T prior to the auction were exchanged for vouchers. The company spent about $2.4 billion in the auction, or $1.2 billion net of its vouchers. The value of the FCC issued vouchers was determined by the auction price for the PEAs in which the pre-auction licenses were held.  The licenses it won cover 411 PEAs.

When added to the mmWave spectrum AT&T already holds in the 24 GHz band, AT&T’s average spectrum depth in mmWave increased to more than 1,040 MHz.