Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg (pictured) urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move quickly to auction mid-band spectrum, stressing its importance to the operator’s 5G plans.

In a recent meeting with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Vestberg said the operator’s mmWave network is “performing well”, but added “prompt access to mid-band spectrum is now critical to achieving the full promise of 5G” including widespread deployments and advanced capabilities it will deliver.

Vestberg specifically called for action on C-Band spectrum (3.7GHz to 4.2GHz) to make a portion of the “underutilised” airwaves available to “5G providers who stand ready to deploy”.

The comments were documented in a filing made by Verizon SVP for federal regulatory and legal affairs William Johnson.

Last week, Pai told Congress the FCC plans to take action on C-Band spectrum “as quickly as possible,” but noted it is still evaluating a private auction plan recently submitted by the C-Band Alliance (CBA), a group comprising satellite operators including Intelsat, SES, Telesat and Eutelsat. The proposal would sell-off nine 20MHz blocks of spectrum.

Verizon previously backed the CBA’s model, which it believes would make the airwaves available more quickly than an FCC auction.

However, T-Mobile US, the Competitive Carriers Association and others lobbied against the plan, arguing it wouldn’t free enough spectrum and would result in satellite players unfairly benefitting from the private sale of public assets.