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The Cutting Edge: COMPUTING / TECHNOLOGY / INNOVATION : 9 Groups Win Paging Licenses at FCC Auction

November 09, 1994|From Bloomberg Business News

WASHINGTON — The government auction of regional paging licenses ended Tuesday with nine groups submitting winning bids for licenses to offer a new generation of paging and messaging services.

PageMart Inc. and PCS Development Corp.--a consortium that includes Arch Communications Corp., A-Plus Communications and USA Mobile Communications Inc.--were the big winners. Each offered to pay more than $90 million for five regional licenses, enough to gain nationwide coverage.

In addition, American Paging Inc., MobileMedia Corp., AirTouch Communications, Benbow PCS Ventures and individual investor Lisa-Gaye Shearing each captured several licenses. Ameritech Corp. and Insta-Check Systems Inc. won a single license each.

Total high bids for the auction rose over 10 days to $488.8 million. However, groups owned by minorities and women will get 40% discounts from the Federal Communications Commission on some of the licenses, so the government's total earnings from the auction will be $394.8 million.

The winners will use the licenses to offer such things as "pocket answering machine services," delivering voice or electronic messages directly to small pagers.

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