FCC 5G auctions raise over $2.7bn

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The FCC has concluded the bidding in Auction 102, the Commission’s second auction of millimetre wave spectrum suitable for 5G, which is providing licences in the 24 GHz band. With the closing of bidding in this auction along with the closing of bidding in Auction 101 for 28 GHz band licences, the FCC has now completed its first set of high-band airwaves auctions to make spectrum available for 5G wireless, Internet of Things, and other advanced spectrum-based services.

“American leadership in 5G means deploying more airwaves for the next generation of wireless connectivity,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The successful conclusion of our nation’s first two high-band flexible, mobile-use spectrum auctions is a critical step. By making more spectrum available, we’ll ensure that American consumers reap the substantial benefits that 5G innovation will bring and we’ll extend US leadership in 5G.”

Together, the Spectrum Frontiers auctions of the 24 GHz and 28 GHz bands raised more than $2.7 billion (€3.07bn) in gross bids. Combined, 55 applicants were qualified to bid, and the winning bidders won 5,869 licences.

Auction 101 Results

On January 24th, 2019, bidding concluded in the auction of 28 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licences (Auction 101), the Commission’s first auction of high-band spectrum licences for 5G wireless, Internet of Things, and other advanced spectrum-based services. This auction raised (in gross bids) a total of $702,572,410, and bidders won 2,965 of the 3,072 licences offered.

Auction 102 Results

Bidding in the auction of 24 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licences (Auction 102) concluded May 28th 2019 with the end of the assignment phase, which followed the close of clock-phase bidding on April 17th, 2019. Auction 102 raised (in gross bids) $2,024,268,941, and bidders won 2,904 of the 2,909 licences offered.

The FCC will release a public notice in the coming days providing detailed auction results and notifying Auction 102 winning bidders of deadlines for payments and the filing of long-form applications, as well as other post-auction procedures needed for the prompt issuance of licences. A public notice will also soon be released announcing the detailed results of the auction of 28 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licences (Auction 101), which have remained non-public pending the conclusion of Auction 102.

On December 10th, the FCC will begin Auction 103, which includes the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. This will be the largest spectrum auction in US history, with 3400 megahertz up for bid.


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