FCC paves the way for more mmWave auctions in 2019

13 Dec 2018

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules promoting the availability of high-band millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum, which it plans to auction in 2019. The watchdog notes that the airwaves in the combined upper 37GHz and 39GHz bands represent the largest amount of contiguous mmWave spectrum available for wireless services – some 2,400MHz of spectrum. Meanwhile, the 47GHz band will provide an additional 1,000MHz of spectrum.

As per the FCC’s ‘Fourth Report and Order’, the band plans for the aforementioned spectrum ranges have been modified from 200MHz blocks to 100MHz blocks, which will be licensed by Partial Economic Area (PEA), thus facilitating the simultaneous auction of licences in all three bands. The incentive auction of these spectrum bands will have two phases: a clock phase in which bidders may bid on generic licence blocks, and an assignment phase in which clock phase winners may bid on specific frequencies.

TeleGeography notes that the FCC’s current auction of 28GHz 5G-suitable mmWave spectrum (Auction 101) commenced on 14 November and has generated provisional winning bids (PWB) of USD683.5 million to date (i.e. close of bidding on 12 December). Bidding for 24GHz band licences (Auction 102) will begin immediately after the 28GHz auction concludes.

United States, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)