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AWS auction nearing an end

The Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) auction taking place in the US is speeding up to its final approach, according to analysts. Thursday was the first day US regulator the FCC increased the number of bidding rounds up to six per day in an auction that has already netted the US government close to $20bn (£10.5bn) in 64 rounds.

The number of bids per round are decreasing, and if the rate of decline holds, some believe the auction could be over in a week or so.

“Practically all of the big bets have already been put to bed. And the remaining bidders were competing in the bargain basement for the most part,” said Jupiter Research analyst Sharon Armbrust.

Armbrust believes the most expensive licenses have all been in the hands of their presumable prospective winners for at least 15 rounds, most for over 30 rounds. As expected, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA has been one of the top spenders, already pledging in excess of $4bn for much needed 3G spectrum. Verizon Wireless has also bid over $2.8bn and the SpectrumCo consortium, comprising three cable operators and Sprint Nextel, has also been a big spender already splashing out $2.3bn.

“Failing any last minute surprise moves, the AWS Auction is almost history with the winners expecting to head home with ample amounts of spectrum at historically low prices,” said Armbrust.

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