Verizon Communications committed $45 billion for 5G wireless airwaves in a government auction that attracted record bidding as the largest U.S. mobile carriers race to build faster networks. From a report: At $23 billion, AT&T was the second-highest bidder, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which ran the auction. Participants also included T-Mobile US Inc. and pay-TV providers such as Dish Network, Comcast and Charter Communications. Some have already tapped the debt market to help pay the tab. The auction started in December, and within days the tally exceeded analysts’ estimates of $47 billion before settling at $81.2 billion. The budget-stretching bidding underscores how crucial these so-called midband frequencies are to companies trying to seize global leadership in emerging 5G technology. The airwaves are prized for their combined ability to travel far and carry lots of data. They are expected to drive years of growth when deployed for next-generation mobile devices, autonomous vehicles, health-care equipment and manufacturing facilities.
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