FCC establishes procedures for first 5G spectrum auctions

Via FCC Headlines

Aug 3, 2018

  • 28 GHz auction scheduled to commence on November 14

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2018: Today, the Federal Communications Commission established the application and bidding procedures for the upcoming Spectrum Frontiers auctions of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz) and 24 GHz (24.25-24.45, 24.75-25.25 GHz) bands.

This Public Notice announces auction procedures to speed the deployment of 5G services in these bands. The Commission will offer the 28 GHz and 24 GHz band licenses through two auctions with separate application and bidding processes for each auction. The application windows will run concurrently. The bidding for the 28 GHz UMFUS licenses (Auction 101) will commence on November 14, 2018, and the bidding for the 24 GHz licenses (Auction 102) will commence after the bidding concludes in Auction 101. These two auctions will use different bidding formats to accommodate differences in the characteristics of the licenses in the two bands:

  • Auction 101: The auction of the licenses in the 28 GHz band will employ the standard simultaneous multiple round auction format. The 28 GHz licenses will be offered in two 425 megahertz blocks by county.
  • Auction 102: The auction of the licenses in the 24 GHz band will employ a clock auction format, beginning with a clock phase that will allow bidding on generic blocks in each Partial Economic Area in successive bidding rounds. There will then be an assignment phase to allow winners of the generic blocks to bid for frequency-specific license assignments. The 24 GHz licenses will be offered in seven 100 megahertz blocks.

The Public Notice further announces that certain auction rules, such as the prohibition on certain communications, will apply across both auctions. In addition, the Public Notice adopts bidding credit caps for these auctions of $25 million for small businesses and $10 million for rural service providers.

By establishing these auction procedures, the Commission furthers its efforts to ensure continued American leadership in wireless broadband, which is a critical component of economic growth, job creation, public safety, and global competitiveness.

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