High-Band 5G Spectrum Auction Begins
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 | Comments

The FCC began its first-ever high-band 5G spectrum auction. Bidding began on spectrum in the 28 GHz band (Auction 101) and will be followed by bidding for spectrum in the 24 GHz band (Auction 102).

The FCC is making 1.55 gigahertz of spectrum available through the two auctions. The auctions will be followed by a 2019 auction of three more millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum bands: 37, 39 and 47 GHz.

“Today’s spectrum auction shows that America is continuing to lead the world in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “These airwaves will be critical in deploying 5G services and applications. And, we’re not stopping there. Between this year and next, the FCC will push almost 5 gigahertz of spectrum into the commercial marketplace over the course of the next 15 months. To put that in perspective, that is more spectrum than is currently used for terrestrial mobile broadband by all wireless service providers combined.”

The auction of 28 GHz licenses uses the standard simultaneous multiple round auction format with licenses being offered in two 425-megahertz blocks by county. Learn more about the auction here.

The 24 GHz band auction uses a clock auction format beginning with a clock phase that allows bidding on generic blocks in each Partial Economic Area in successive bidding rounds. There will then be an assignment phase to allow winners of the generic blocks to bid for frequency-specific license assignments. The 24 GHz licenses were offered in seven 100 megahertz blocks. Find more about the auction here.

“5G is about our economic leadership for the next decade, and with today’s auction, the FCC takes another solid step forward in winning the global race to 5G,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. “The high-band spectrum we begin auctioning today will be critical to 5G and the innovations that next-gen wireless will unleash — from faster broadband to autonomous cars, from smart ag to telehealth and the internet of things (IoT).”

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