For 5G, AT&T and T-Mobile buy $1.8 billion worth of 24GHz spectrum across US


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AT&T and T-Mobile committed to spend nearly $1.8 billion, combined, on high-frequency spectrum for their 5G networks in a Federal Communications Commission auction that sold airwave licenses covering the whole US. Verizon committed to spend $506 million in a separate 5G auction.

AT&T’s winning bids in the 24GHz auction totaled $982.5 million for 831 licenses in 383 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs). That should cover most of the US, as the FCC divides the country into 416 PEAs for purposes of the auction. This spectrum will be used for AT&T’s real 5G network, not the 4G network that AT&T misleadingly calls “5G E.”

T-Mobile’s winning bids totaled $803.2 million for 1,346 licenses in 400 PEAs.

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