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Friday, August 11, 2006

AWS-1 Auction – Day 2 Summary

End of Day 2 and the US government is US$553,014,500 richer or less poor depending upon your personal way of thinking about the US deficit.

AWS-1 Day2

We witnessed the departure of 5 companies from the runners and riders to leave 163 still bidding.

PCS Partners, L.P. (US$3m upfront payment), Hawaiian Telcom Communications, Inc. (US$2.155m), Leaco Rural Telephone Cooperative Inc (US$712.5k) and Arapahoe Telephone Company d/b/a ATC Communication (US$136k) all exited without making a single bid. If anyone can explain the rationale of going through the whole FCC procedure of registration and actually making a deposit without even bothering to make a single bid, I’d be extremely interested to listen. Yes, they are going to get their deposits back but it all seems a nihilistic existence to me.

At least Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (US$434k) bid on five licenses in Round 1 and then saw that they faced a minimum of two other bidders on every license and used their proactive waivers to see how the bidding developed before calling it a day in Round 5.

CenturyTel who outbid Craw-Tel on two rural licenses are probably the story of the auction so far. CenturyTel placed a huge US$59m deposit with the FCC which was the 11th largest and is now left bidding on a mere US$9.162 “bidding units” having automatically lost 2 waivers because of low activity in round 1 & 2. CenturyTel currently have the winning bids on 32 licenses at a total price of $7.7m. I feel CenturyTel have paid a much bigger deposit than necessary and probably have a really poor bidding strategy.

The heavy hitters have followed the same course as yesterday. If everything continues on Friday as the first two days, I’ll be able to reveal what I think is the first “signal” and furthermore place it in a historical context with the infamous UK 3G auction of Mar-Apr 2000.