348 companies apply to bid in FCC’s 3.5GHz auction

10 Jun 2020

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed that it has received 348 applications from companies interested in taking part in its auction of 5G-suitable (3550MHz-3650MHz) 3.5GHz spectrum, which is scheduled to commence on 23 July. Of the applications received, the FCC said that 106 were ‘complete’, while a further 242 were ‘incomplete’. To become a qualified bidder for Auction 105, each applicant in the latter category must resubmit its application, having corrected any deficiencies, and make the required upfront payment by 19 June 2020.

Registered bidders with ‘complete’ paperwork include: AT&T Spectrum Frontiers, Cincinnati Bell, Cox Communications, Frontier Communications, Mediacom, Puerto Rico Telephone Company (Claro), Shenandoah Cable Television, TeleGuam Holdings (GTA), United States Cellular Corporation and Windstream Services.

Meanwhile, registered bidders with ‘incomplete’ documentation include: Aeronet Wireless Broadband, Cable ONE, Consolidated Communications Enterprise Services, DOCOMO Pacific, T-Mobile License and Verizon Wireless Network Procurement. In addition, Fierce Wireless notes that satellite TV giant DISH Network is on this list, bidding as Wetterhorn Wireless.

In March this year the FCC confirmed that it had rescheduled its planned auction of frequencies in the 3.5GHz band as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spectrum sale – which had been scheduled to commence on 25 June – will now start on 23 July. The auction will offer seven Priority Access Licences (PALs) in each county-based licence area, for a total of 22,631 PALs nationwide. Each PAL will be a ten-year renewable licence, consisting of an unpaired 10MHz channel.