An auction of third- and fourth-generation wireless spectrum has raised €4,4 billion (US$5,5 billion) for Germany’s government, with the lion’s share of coveted frequencies in the 800 MHz band going to British wireless giant Vodafone, Telefonica’s O2, and German market leader Deutsche Telekom (DT). Encompassing analog channels that were surrendered by German broadcasters in the transition to digital television, the month-long auction covered 41 blocks of spectrum to rank as Germany’s largest auction to date in terms of available licenses. (Although auctions for 3G wireless channels held ten years ago in Germany encompassed far less spectrum, total bids in that event reached a whopping €50 billion.) The auctioned spectrum is expected to be used toward the expansion of 3G wireless voice and data services in rural markets and toward the deployment of 4G mobile broadband services. Vodafone, the second-largest wireless carrier in Germany, earned the auction’s top spot with US$1.73 billion in winning bids. O2 and DT followed closely behind with total bids of $1.68 billion and $1.59 billion, respectively. Meanwhile, KPN of the Netherlands—the operator of Germany’s E-Plus mobile network—pledged $347 million for various 3G licenses although it failed to win any 800 MHz spectrum sought for 4G mobile broadband services.