Net proceeds in key U.S. spectrum auction tops $80 billion

Market trading boards are seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Friday, February 9, 2018. ( AAP Image/Ben Rushton) NO ARCHIVING

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Communications Commission said that the first phase in the largest auction of mid-band 5G spectrum to date had raised a record $80.9 billion in gross proceeds.

The spectrum is key to next-generation 5G wireless networks and the bidding exceeds the prior highest spectrum auction that netted $44.9 billion. Winning bidders must also pay the costs of clearing the spectrum held by existing satellite users and $9.7 billion in incentive payments.

Verizon Communications and AT&T are expected to be among the major winners of spectrum in the auction.

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