Comcast, Verizon and AT&T were down less than 1 percent at market close while T-Mobile rose marginally. The company "just cleaned up", its CEO, John Legere, tweeted. "The FCC and other stakeholders must work together to ensure hasty deployment of this spectrum so that consumers and the entire economy can reap the benefits as quickly as possible", said ITIF.
Comcast and Charter plan new wireless partnerships with Verizon, and presumably could decide to buy a mobile carrier - especially if the likelihood exists that Sprint or T-Mobile could be taken off the market.
Interested parties were celebrating the FCC's release of a raft of data on who won what in the recent broadcast incentive auction, as well as next steps and timelines for repacking TV stations after the auction.
Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile won 45 percent of all low-band spectrum sold, covering 100 percent of the United States and Puerto Rico, quadrupling the Un-carrier's low-band holdings. Meanwhile, AT&T spent less than $1 billion on licenses, while Verizon declined to bid.
There's some big wireless news out today, as the FCC has announced the results of the 600MHz spectrum auction that kicked off a year ago. The result? One of the highest grossing auctions ever conducted by the FCC, with a total gross revenue coming in at a whopping $19.8 billion. Verizon's leadership clearly believes the carrier doesn't need low-band spectrum, but could still participate in mergers and acquisitions that are likely to get underway later this month, following the end of the FCC's auction quiet period, according to the same article.
The biggest winners of the auction were T-Mobile, Dish, Comcast, and US Cellular.
The improvements in its cellular network will not happen overnight for T-Mobile though, as the purchased spectrum is now being used by TV stations.
The federal government is hoping the new airwave rights will allow carriers to ease congestion on their mobile networks, which are increasingly overwhelmed by smartphone users watching streaming videos and uploading their own video to social networks like Snapchat and Instagram. That 31MHz amounts to 45% of the available licensed spectrum being auctioned off, which sounds like a lot but for the fact that the FCC put aside 30MHz(PDF) for carriers that didn't already have sizeable low-band spectrum holdings.
T-Mobile said it will begin deploying its new spectrum "later this year in parts of the country". It doesn't have enough nationwide coverage to build out an entirely new network only using the licenses it just picked up, but it could be a piece of the puzzle.
The new spectrum represents T-Mobile's biggest investment in its history. That is because low-band spectrum travels farther and is better at penetrating buildings.