Charter and Comcast not bidding on 5G bands-ViaSat is!

It appears that three of the nation’s largest cable companies are not planning to bid on millimeter-wave spectrum licenses.


The development likely stands as a major blow to the FCC—the government agency charged with raising money through the spectrum auction—as well as the network equipment vendors that were likely hoping to sell mmWave equipment to auction winners like Comcast and Charter.

Interestingly, though, it appears that Cox—the nation’s third-largest cable operator—is participating in the FCC’s spectrum auction.

Further, many of the nation’s top wireless players—as well as a wide range of smaller wireless providers—are planning to participate in the auction. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile all filed applications to bid on 28 GHz and 24 GHz spectrum licenses in the FCC’s upcoming millimeter-wave spectrum auctions. Sprint too appears to be planning to participate in the auction, as is Dish Network and U.S. Cellular.

A wide range of smaller and rural wireless operators filed applications to bid, including Bluegrass Cellular, Union Wireless and Nsight’s Cellcom.

A pair of wired telecom operators also signaled their interest in participating: Windstream and Frontier Communications. Interestingly, both of those operators are also testing or deploying fixed wireless services to expand their coverage into rural areas.

A handful of venture capital companies, including Columbia Capital, have also filed applications to participate in the auctions.

Another surprising name on the FCC’s bidder list is satellite company Viasat.

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