FCC’s 3.7GHz 5G auction now underway; day one bids reach USD1.9bn

9 Dec 2020

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) kicked off its latest 5G spectrum auction on 8 December, making available 280MHz of prime mid-band spectrum in the 3.7GHz-3.98GHz band. The watchdog says that the sale represents its largest mid-band 5G spectrum auction to date.

On 12 November the FCC confirmed that a total of 57 bidders were qualified to participate in the process, including the likes of AT&T Spectrum Frontiers, Cellco Partnership (Verizon Wireless), Cox Communications, US Cellular, Cellular South (C Spire) and T-Mobile US. The full list is dominated by smaller, regional providers.

In total, 5,684 licences will be auctioned, divided into 14 sub-blocks in each of the 406 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs). The A-block will incorporate five 20MHz blocks in the 3.7GHz–3.8GHz range; the B-block will include five 20MHz blocks between 3.8GHz-3.9GHz; and the C-block will comprise four 20MHz sub-blocks between 3900MHz-3980MHz; spectrum in the 3980MHz-4000MHz range will be maintained as a guard band and is not available for auction.

United States, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)