Top US operators Verizon, T-Mobile US and Sprint were among almost 40 companies which applied to participate in the country’s third auction of mmWave spectrum, as they seek to bolster their holdings for 5G.
Verizon and Sprint put in through subsidiary companies (Straight Path and ATI Sub, respectively), as a total of 39 companies applied to take part in the FCC sale of spectrum in the 37GHz, 39GHz and 47GHz bands.
A number of regional mobile players also registered to take part, but cable operators were largely absent, as was AT&T, though the operator could make a move through its FiberTower Spectrum Holdings subsidiary, which it acquired in February 2018.
Dish Network looks likely to participate through a company called Window Wireless.
Applicants must submit deposits by 22 October, with the auction scheduled to commence on 10 December.
A total of 3,400MHz of spectrum will be on offer, which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai previously noted is the largest amount ever sold at one time in the nation’s history.
AT&T and T-Mobile were the top spenders in a 24GHz auction in April, shelling out $983 million and $803 million, respectively. Verizon held the top slot in a 28GHz sale held in January, spending $505 million.
US operators homed in on mmWave for initial 5G deployments. The decision earned them an early lead in global 5G speed tests, but operators insisted they will also need mid-band spectrum to offer broad coverage.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back