US operators commit billions on day 1 of C-Band sale - Mobile World Live

US operators commit billions on day 1 of C-Band sale

09 DEC 2020

A US sale of C-Band spectrum (3.7GHz to 4.2GHz) got off to a strong start yesterday (8 December), with more than $1.9 billion bid on the opening day of an auction analysts flagged as key for operators’ 5G plans.

The sum is close to half (40 per cent) of the $4.6 billion raised in an auction of 3.5GHz spectrum earlier this year: analysts predict the C-Band process could net more than $30 billion.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai stated the latest auction was a “big day for American consumers”, as it will pave the way for provision of “fast 5G wireless services”.

The agency noted the C-Band proceeding was its “largest mid-band 5G” auction to date, with a total of 280MHz of spectrum and 5,684 licences up for grabs.

In a research note, MoffettNathanson senior analyst Craig Moffett highlighted the sale as potentially “the most important wireless auction of our time”, explaining “there is precious little additional mid-band spectrum in the FCC’s pipeline, and nothing with similarly large block widths”.

CCS Insight director for consumer and connectivity Kester Mann tweeted the sale is “particularly important to Verizon which lags its rivals in the low/mid-band”.

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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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