The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) scheduled its next auction of 5G-suitable mid-band spectrum to commence on 5 October, offering up to 4,060 licences covering the 3.45GHz to 3.55GHz band.
Dubbed Auction 110, the regulator plans to auction ten licences of 10MHz in each of the nation’s 416 Partial Economic Areas, geographic boundaries established under guidance from operators for previous spectrum sales.
It plans a two-stage process for the latest auction: a clock phase in which bidders will compete for generic spectrum blocks in each PEA; and an assignment phase to vie for frequency-specific blocks.
The FCC said it has set a reserve price of roughly $14.7 billion, with the agency required by law to cover the expected sharing and relocation costs for federal users in the band. The US Department of Defence currently uses the spectrum for radar services: after the sale it will be prohibited from interfering with the operation of commercial users of the band, except in specific circumstances.
All the licences auctioned will be flexible-use, but are widely expected to be employed for commercial 5G services.
The FCC raised a record-breaking $81.2 billion an auction of C-Band spectrum in the 3.7GHz to 4.2 GHz bands which closed in February.
FCC acting chair Jessica Rosenworcel said the auction will bring the US closer to the goal of delivering nationwide 5G access.