AT&T Enhances Spectrum Position Following FCC Auction 103

AT&T Inc.* is the winning bidder for spectrum licenses covering more than 99% of the U.S. population following the close of FCC Auction 103. The company’s winning bids will allow continued improvements and advancements to its wireless network — already the nation’s best1 and fastest.2

With this newly acquired spectrum and our existing holdings, AT&T continues to build upon and add capacity to the nation’s largest network. Our existing spectrum allowed us to add more coverage last year than any other wireless provider to serve businesses, consumers and first responders wherever they are. This newly acquired spectrum will help us continue that progress.

Consumers and business can access 5G3 on AT&T’s best unlimited wireless plans where available. And 5G+, which offers extra speed and capacity over high-band spectrum to serve high-traffic areas and places like arenas, campuses and more, is now available in parts of 35 cities for customers with compatible plans and devices. Once the network is built with the necessary density for mobile services, fixed services may follow.    

“The large, contiguous block of spectrum we won in Auction 103 will be important to maintaining our 5G leadership across the industry,” said Scott Mair, president, AT&T Technology & Operations. “This win boosts our already strong spectrum position. We thank the FCC for their work and congratulate them on the conclusion of another successful auction.”

AT&T improved its 39 GHz spectrum position to 786 MHz, an increase of 102%. Prior to Auction 103, AT&T acquired 379 MHz of 39 GHz spectrum when it purchased FiberTower for $207 million in early 2018. All 39 GHz licenses held by AT&T prior to the auction were exchanged for vouchers. The company spent about $2.4 billion in the auction, or $1.2 billion net of its vouchers. 

The value of the FCC issued vouchers was determined by the auction price for the PEAs in which the pre-auction licenses were held.  The licenses it won cover 411 PEAs.  When added to the mmWave spectrum AT&T already holds in the 24 GHz band, AT&T’s average spectrum depth in mmWave increased to more than 1,040 MHz nationwide.

1 America’s Best Network: Based on GWS OneScore Sept. 2019.

2 Nation’s Fastest Network: Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data average download speeds for Q4 2019. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

3 Requires a compatible device and a compatible plan for 5G connection. Limited AT&T 5G availability. May not be available in your area.