$60B of hot air evaporates. The U.S. auction is down to $10B compared to most estimates of $60-80B. Tim Farrar, one of the best analysts in this space, tells me it might come back up modestly, winding up at $0.90/MHz/pop. Last time, it came to $2.63/MHz/pop. Technology is increasing capacity of current spectrum faster than demand is growing. See my article Wireless Abundance is here: What Gig LTE, Massive MIMO, mmWave, and more can mean and the reporting on MIMO and Gig LTE.
Everyone is better off with lower spectrum prices except those who own some. The broadcasters got the spectrum for nothing and mostly weren't using it. Every dollar in this auction would be a windfall profit, mostly to very rich men. Some of them are now crying like babies whose toys were taken away.
The prospects of spectrum holders Dish and Straight Path are dark.
I don't pick stocks and the market here runs on psychology, not facts. I wouldn't want to play poker against Charlie Ergen but he seems to be holding a losing hand. The reduction of spectrum values implied also could chop $10B off the balance sheets of AT&T and Verizon, but the accounting there is so creative I wouldn't want to guess.
Too many people believed the lobbyist lies about a spectrum crisis. More spectrum slightly lowers wireless costs, somewhere about ~1% of the customer bill. By 2009, the engineers knew the spectrum crisis was invented; the folks at the Broadband Plan demanded the FCC Chair take their names off some of the propaganda he was putting out. Verizon's CEO Ivan Seidenberg was telling Wall Street they didn't have a spectrum crisis at the same time the telcos guy in DC were inventing one.
"There's never been a spectrum shortage and there never will be one," Marty Cooper told Washington in 2014. (Marty built the first cellphone and went on to be an antenna pioneer.) He was joined by several other Marconi Fellows who saw a 50X or 100X capacity increase coming. The engineers saw this coming, but DC ignored them as usual. Even after this demonstration, wireless lobbyist Stephen Berry claimed, "The entire communications industry is staring down a spectrum crunch in the early days of data-hungry 4G and 5G services, which consumers need and expect, and which require both high-band spectrum and more importantly 'greenfield' low-band spectrum for coverage." He belongs on the unreliable sources list.
Legendary lobbyist Preston Padden should be particularly embarrassed by his high estimate; he should have known his peers like Jim Cicconi at AT&T were not to be believed. (Working for Disney, Preston got the Mickey Mouse copyright act through Congress, one of the greatest lobbying coups of my lifetime.)