Boy was I wrong
I admit I haven't been paying as much attention as I should have been to the FCC's spectrum auction. The AWS-3/1755 MHz spectrum is good spectrum, a nice chunk of it, and globally harmonized for LTE, which drives down equipment cost. The official reserve price was $10 bn, which I figured was reasonable. It wouldn't have surprised me if the auction raised $15 bn. I thought estimates of $20 bn were rather aggressive (especially after some recent disappointing auctions in Brazil and elsewhere) and that the estimates of $25+ bn were absurd.
As of the end of round 19, after only 6 days of the auction, the total Potential Winning Bids (PWBs)
yields more than $24 bn.
I will need to wait until after I see the de-cloaked results to make some guesses why I was so wrong. And I suppose I should have asked fatlefty
first -- but been busy on net neutrality and stuff.