Early this year, the Federal Communications Commission announced the results of a landmark auction, one that yielded nearly $81.2 billion.
Up for grabs were spots on a valuable piece of radio spectrum known as the "C-band," and the top bidders were the nation's premier wireless carriers. The stakes were high. How well these companies did at auction could help determine who will take the lead as the nation transitions to 5G wireless technology.
This prize was the final puzzle piece in a three-part network approach that requires low-, mid- and high-frequency 5G radio waves to function widely and properly. The C-band falls in the midrange category.
Adam Koeppe, Verizon's senior vice president of technology planning, explained why his company paid $45.5 billion to acquire its licenses in this critical radio spectrum. (That amount rises to nearly $53 billion once you factor in related costs and incentive payments.)