Verizon Communications and Dish Network were the top winners in a U.S. auction of airwaves that also saw cable providers take home rights to use the frequencies that are useful for fast 5G service, the Federal Communications Commission said.
The agency in an emailed statement released results of the auction that raised $4.6 billion in bidding that concluded Aug. 25.
Cable providers Charter Communications and Comcast were the third- and fourth-largest winners, ranked by spending, the FCC said.
Another FCC airwaves sale set to begin in December will offer even more 5G airwaves.
The auctions are part of U.S. efforts to make way for the ultra-fast mobile internet service expected to underlie remote surgery, autonomous vehicles and other advanced applications.
Verizon placed $1.9 billion in winning bids, compared with Dish’s $913 million.
The spending reflects a race to serve customers who relentlessly increase their use of mobile data for video viewing and other services.
Cable providers, too, face the same pressure. Charter spent $464 million and Comcast $459 million, the FCC said.
Each winner faced different circumstances.
Verizon is playing catch-up on spectrum. It has the most mobile subscribers of any U.S. carrier but currently has less airwaves capacity than its No. 2 rival T-Mobile, which took on a large cache of frequencies as it absorbed Sprint earlier this year.
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