The winners are AirCell and LiveTV: The auction went to 144 rounds primarily because Space Data, a ballon-based wireless firm, delayed what turned out to be the inevitable by bidding on licenses that couldn't win. Was that an effort to buy some time to raise funds? I may be able to find out now, as participants couldn't discuss specifics while the auction was ongoing.
AC BidCo LLC, a company formed as a sister firm to AirCell (and both held by AC HoldCo LLC), essentially won the 3 MHz license C in round 37, and LiveTV (a JetBlue division) won the 1 MHz license D in round 120. The winning amounts are $31,319,000 and $7,020,000 respectively, so my way-back-original estimate of $40m for this auction (which I thought I might be too high on and revised lower) turned out eerily accurate.
The FCC has to finalize the auction with additional diligence and collect the funds. Then the clock starts ticking on Verizon's move to a smaller slice of frequency for its AirFone service. More news on this as I talk to the companies who won and lost the licenses in the days ahead.
Update: I've been informed that the FCC rules still keep companies from talking about this auction today. I'll have more on the outcome of these auction on Monday.