The FCC’s first high-band auction for spectrum to support 5G wireless internet service (Auction 101) came to an end yesterday after receiving $702,572,410 in gross bids for licenses in the 28 GHz band. Seven NRTC members were among the 40 qualified bidders participating in the auction. The Commission will not reveal the names of the winners until after it completes the “Spectrum Frontiers” auction for 24 GHz spectrum (Auction 102).
“The successful conclusion of our nation’s first high-band 5G spectrum auction is a significant step toward maintaining American leadership in 5G,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement after the auction’s close. “But we can’t afford to rest on our laurels—and won’t. The FCC will continue to aggressively push more spectrum into the commercial marketplace. Our 24 GHz auction will begin soon, and we will then hold an auction of three more spectrum bands later this year.”
Almost all activity at the FCC has ceased since January 3 due to the partial federal government shut down. However, the FCC considers holding to the schedule for high-band spectrum auctions an essential service in order to maintain international 5G competitive standing.
Auction 101 sold 2,965 out of 3,072 licenses nationwide, leaving 107 licenses unsold. Auction 102 will offer 2,909 24 GHz licenses. Many of the same NRTC members that participated in Auction 101 have applied to participate in Auction 102. A start date for Auction 102 is yet to be announced.
Update, Feb. 1: The FCC has scheduled Auction 102 for high-band spectrum in the 24 GHz band to begin on March 14.