AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) surprised the whole market by spending up to half of the overall bidding auction amount at the U.S. mobile data airwaves sale. DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) also managed to surprise the market by getting ahead of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) in the auction.
The second-largest telephone carrier service of the United States, AT&T, made bids of $18.2 billion in the AWS-3 spectrum dwarfing the bid of the largest telecom carrier of the country, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), at $10.4 billion. A little to the surprise was the move from the third-largest telecom carrier of the country, Sprint Corp (NYSE:S), which skipped the auction altogether.
DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) didn’t participate directly in the auction but was said to invest in the second largest bidders, SNR Wireless License Co LLC and Northstar Wireless LLC. The satellite-TV company confirmed the investments without laying out any further plans for the same. The current size of investment from DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) would help it own 700 licenses.
The overall auction closed with bids of $44.9 billion setting a new record for the same and indicating the proactive thinking of the telecom carriers to capitalize the increasing demand of data. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) bid for 181 licenses in the auction and gave a hint that the company would purchase more licenses in December.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) now owns 251 licenses after the auction but its capital investment is likely to heighten its debt leverage. The carrier added, “The company will use excess cash — after paying its dividend — over the next three years to pay down debt, and expects to return to historical debt ratios.”
T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS), the fourth largest telecom carrier of the country, made bids of $1.8 billion and the company left the auction with 151 licenses.
This article has been written by Prakash Pandey.