FCC concludes 1st 5G mid-band spectrum auction
August 26, 2020
By Colin Mann
The US’s FCC has confirmed what it describes as the successful conclusion of bidding in its auction of Priority Access Licenses in the 3550-3650 MHz band for 5G, raising some $4.5 billion, although it has yet to name the successful bidders. The auction made available the greatest number of spectrum licences ever in a single FCC auction.
“This is a banner day for American leadership in 5G and for American consumers,” declared FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The 3.5 GHz auction has concluded, and I can say unequivocally: It was a resounding success. The strong demand for licences was the direct result of this Commission’s reforms to the rules for the 3.5 GHz band—reforms that would not have been possible without the leadership and hard work of my colleague, Commissioner Mike O’Rielly. This auction has been a key part of our 5G FAST Plan and our ongoing push to make more mid-band spectrum available for 5G. I look forward to this important spectrum being put to use quickly to provide service to the American people. And I look forward to the Commission making available 280 more megahertz of mid-band spectrum for 5G in the C-band auction beginning on December 8.”
Bidding in the auction of 70 megahertz of Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz band (Auction 105) concluded following round 76. Gross proceeds reached $4,585,663,345, and bidders won 20,625 of 22,631, or more than 91.1 per cent, of available licences. The FCC will release a public notice in a few days providing detailed auction results, including the names of Auction 105 winning bidders, and announcing deadlines for payments and the filing of long-form applications, as well as other post-auction procedures needed for the prompt issuance of licences.