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Friday, September 08, 2006

AWS-1 Hawaiian Fun

After being quiet for so long, the mega-powerful Verizon Wireless yesterday went back into action in Hawaii.

hawaii round 97

The BEA and REA licensees cover the whole of the Hawaiian Archipelago, so we can see that currently T-Mobile has 30MHz, SpectrumCo (who own the local CableTV franchise) has 20MHz, Verizon Wireless 20MHz and Cingular has 20MHz on the main island. A private company, Cavalier Wireless, has 20MHz in a variety of smaller islands for US$201k.

Verizon Wireless also placed their toe into water into other smaller BEA licenses in Louisiana, which is right on the edge of the Central license / Mississippi Valley mega-franchise. Verizon Wireless have almost certainly lost the bid on the Central license to T-Mobile. Currently Verizon Wireless is not the high bidder, but could re-enter the fray.

Verizon Wireless still has around 7.9m bidding units available and they could use these to either:
  • buy spectrum in the central & west regions where are currently spectrally challenged;
  • force competitors to pay realistic prices;
  • force out speculators who are buying spectrum on the cheap; or
  • keep the auction going to keep the status-quo going for as long as possible.
It is a little bizarre that Verizon Wireless played the opening-game and seems now to be playing in the end-game, but ignored the middle-game.