Bids in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) third mmWave spectrum auction quickly surpassed totals from the regulator’s previous two sales, with more than $2.4 billion committed after 14 rounds.
The tally so far in the 37GHz, 39GHz and 47GHz sale is more than double the $702 million raised during a 28GHz auction in January and the $2 billion achieved in a subsequent sale of 24GHz licences.
Though the total already exceeded the previous sales, analysts were quick to note licences are selling at a much cheaper rate than the previous auctions.
Sasha Javid, COO at the Spectrum Consortium, noted on LinkedIn the price per MHz-POP early on 16 December was $0.0023, compared with the $0.01 average in each of the previous two sales.
In a tweet, TMF Associates principal analyst Tim Farrar noted proceeds would need to reach between $7 billion and $8 billion for the price to match the level of the earlier auctions.
However, Javid warned the amount of spectrum on offer would “dampen competition and, therefore, total proceeds”.
A total of 3400MHz is on the block, more than double the combined 1550MHz offered in the 24GHz and 28GHz sales.