Bids in latest US mmWave auction top $7B - Mobile World Live

Bids in latest US mmWave auction top $7B

30 JAN 2020

The first phase of bidding in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) third mmWave spectrum sale raised nearly $7.6 billion, with the vast majority of bids covering licences in the two lower frequency bands on offer.

FCC representative Will Wiquist said in a statement bidders won 14,142 of 14,144 licences up for grabs in the 37GHz, 39GHz and 47GHz bands.

The auction will now move on to an assignment phase, during which participants will be able to bid on their desired frequencies in the markets where they won licences. A start date for this stage will be announced in the coming days.

Analyst company LightShed Partners noted the initial bidding total included $7.2 billion for licences in the 37GHz and 39GHz bands, and $344 million on 47GHz. It added the assignment phase typically does not significantly increase auction proceeds.

Stephen Wilkus, principal at Spectrum Financial Consulting, told Mobile World Live the commitments made so far mean it cost a bidder nearly $301 million to buy a 100MHz block of nationwide spectrum in the 37GHz and 39GHz bands, but just $34.3 million to do the same in the 47GHz band.

All four major US operators were among those registered to take part in the auction. Winning bidders will be revealed once the assignment phase is complete.

Two prior auctions generated bids of $2 billion for 24GHz spectrum, and $700 million for 28GHz.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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