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US reaps nearly US$45b in wireless spectrum auction
[WASHINGTON] The US government is getting nearly US$45 billion from an auction of wireless spectrum, highlighting surging demand for new devices which connect to the Internet.
The Federal Communications Commission said the auction ended on Thursday raised US$44.89 billion, the highest amount ever for this type of sale.
The auction comes amid huge demand for spectrum to meet the needs to people using smartphones, tablets and other devices that connect to the Internet such as cars, refrigerators and wearable gadgets.
The move adds 65 megahertz of spectrum "to improve wireless connectivity across the country and accelerate the mobile revolution that is driving economic growth and improving the lives of the American people," FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said.
"The results of this auction confirm the strong market demand for more spectrum."
The FCC did not disclose details of the winning bids but said US$20 billion would go to reduce the federal deficit and additional amounts would fund broadband public safety network and emergency communications.
Meredith Attwell Baker, president of the CTIA Wireless Association said that the auction "is only the first step to unlock more mobile investment and benefits" and said wireless companies would begin investing in fifth-generation networks for improved communications for mobile devices.
Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association said that with demand surging for mobile broadband, the FCC should "help expand access to even more licensed and unlicensed spectrum."