MVDDS Auction Ends

The FCC's Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS) auction ended Tuesday, Jan. 27, after 49 rounds of bidding. An FCC news release said the bids totaled $118,721,835. See last week's RF Report for information about MVDSS. Ten bidders won a total of 192 licenses. The top bidder was DTV Norwich, with $84,610,300 in high bids. SOUTH.COM LLC was next, with $42,647,000 in gross high bids and $27,720,550 in net high bids. MDS Operations came in third, with $6,065,200 in gross high bids and $3,942,380 in net high bids. SOUTH.COM had winning bids in the top five TV markets. DTV Norwich won the next seven markets. For more details on the results, visit the FCC Auction 53 MVDDS web page.

Last week I mentioned that Northpoint held patents on some MVDDS technology. Kirk Kirkpatrick, CEO of MDS America, sent me an email noting that Northpoint sued MDS America alleging patent infringement and lost. The U.S. Federal Court in South Florida invalidated their patent claims on four separate grounds, including obviousness and anticipation. Mr. Kirkpatrick said Northpoint has never built any type of system anywhere in the world. (Northpoint's web site says their technology was tested on a ranch in Texas.)

MDS Operations, the third highest bidder in the MVDDS auction, is related to MDS America. MDS America is the exclusive U.S. distributor for MDS International of France, which has successfully deployed MVDDS systems. For more information, see the MDS America web site. I was not able to find active web sites for DTV Norwich or SOUTH.COM.