Mobile networks may improve as AT&T, Verizon spend big at airwaves auction

Industries Associated Press

Consumers may see improved networks after AT&T and Verizon, the two largest U.S. wireless companies, spent billions in the government's latest airwaves auction.

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The new spectrum will allow wireless companies to offer more capacity for mobile data services, helping ease congested networks.

The auction, which ended Thursday, will raise $41.3 billion for the U.S. Treasury and various federal programs.

AT&T Inc. bid $18.2 billion and Verizon Wireless $10.4 billion. T-Mobile US Inc. had $1.77 billion in winning bids.

Sprint Corp. did not participate.

Beyond the national carriers, Dish Network Corp. won $10 billion worth of spectrum through two companies it invested in. Dish has ambitions to offer wireless broadband service.

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To get the spectrum, companies must make their payments by March 2.