US 5G auction moves to next stage
January 27, 2021
By Colin Mann
Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has welcomed the release of final guidance on the upcoming assignment phase of the US’s 5G auction of C-band spectrum which has already generated gross proceeds exceeding $80.9 billion.
The FCC, in a Public Notice, has detailed the assignment phase of Auction 107, in which bidders that won generic spectrum blocks in the recently-concluded clock phase will have the opportunity to bid for their preferred combinations of frequency-specific licence assignments, consistent with their clock phase winnings.
“This auction has exceeded expectations, and, at this point, we are pushing forward to get this critical piece of mid-band spectrum to market quickly, where it will help American consumers tap into next generation wireless services,” said Rosenworcel. “I thank the FCC staff who work so hard to ensure the success of our spectrum auctions. Few things we do have as great an impact on the day-to-day lives of the American people as our work to ensure spectrum is available for wireless connectivity.”
Auction 107 has made available licences for 280 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band—a portion of the so-called C-band. The clock phase of the auction ended on January 15th with bidders winning all of the available 5,684 spectrum blocks and gross proceeds exceeding $80.9 billion.
In the assignment phase, bidders have the option to bid on the frequency-specific licences that they want. Clock phase winners that do not participate in the assignment phase will still be assigned contiguous frequencies corresponding to the number of generic blocks they won, which will allow for the efficient deployment of high-capacity, low-latency services.
The Public Notice from the FCC explains how bidders can access their assignment phase bidding options (based on their clock phase winnings), view the sequence and timing for the assignment rounds for all Partial Economic Areas (PEAs), and identify the assignment rounds in which they will be eligible to participate. The Commission also announced a mock auction set for February 4th.