271 bidders qualified for 3.5GHz auction, FCC confirms

9 Jul 2020

In an update to its previous disclosures, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed that a total of 271 potential bidders have qualified to participate in Auction 105, its sale of 5G-suitable (3550MHz-3650MHz) 3.5GHz spectrum, which is scheduled to commence on 23 July. A further 77 applicants failed to qualify, the watchdog noted.

Registered US bidders include: AT&T Spectrum Frontiers, Cable ONE, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications Enterprise Services, Cox Communications, Frontier Communications, Mediacom, Shenandoah Cable Television, T-Mobile License, United States Cellular Corporation, Verizon Wireless Network Procurement and Windstream Services. (Note: DISH Network is understood to be bidding as Wetterhorn Wireless.)

Turning to the unincorporated US territories, Puerto Rican bidders will include: Aeronet Wireless Broadband and Puerto Rico Telephone Company (Claro), while Broadband VI will target the US Virgin Islands. Over in the Pacific, meanwhile, bidders focused on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands include TeleGuam Holdings (GTA), DOCOMO Pacific and PTI (IT&E).

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.

Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, United States, Virgin Islands (U.S.), Federal Communications Commission (FCC)