By the end of June, I expect that I will be able to post the C-Band auction results. The results will include both the final and interim configuration. If you haven’t heard, Verizon was the big winner, both in terms of spectrum and money paid, getting about 160Mhz of spectrum nationwide. AT&T was next with around 80Mhz, and then finally T-Mobile got about 40Mhz or so in major markets.
Interim vs. Final Configuration
The interim configuration extends from December 2021 to December 2023, and includes the first 100MHz (A block) of the C-Band’s 280MHz available spectrum for cellular use, but only in specific metro areas (the top 50 in the US, excluding Washington DC/Baltimore). This interim configuration was split between Verizon and AT&T 60/40. On the map you’ll see two sets of blocks for the first 100MHz – one block has an “Int” at the end which denotes the “interim” block that has the reduced metro areas as well as assignments for the next two years, as well as the “final” block which has the block name “A1” to show the 2023 configuration.
This spectrum has a lot of potential – greenfield 5G for Verizon and AT&T, and enough spectrum to make 5G seem like 5G, and not just 4G with Sprinkles.
The next auction is the in-fill for the 2.5GHz band. Will T-Mobile extend their dominance, or will small rural carriers try to secure large blocks of mid-band spectrum to deploy rural wireless (fixed wireless maybe?).