The spectrum destined to be used in 5G networks began Wednesday with bids in excess of $715 million. Frequencies in the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands totaling 3,400 megahertz of spectrum are being made available through this auction.
The frequencies represent the largest amount of contiguous spectrum available in the millimeter-wave bands, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and the auction will be the second-ever incentive auction held by the commission.
“This [auction] will be different from the broadcast incentive auction that Congress authorized years ago, but it’ll have the same worthy goal: clearing or repacking existing licensees to make spectrum as useful as possible, boosting competition and benefiting consumers,” Pai said.
Releasing additional spectrum into the commercial marketplace is a component of Chairman Pai’s 5G FAST plan, and earlier this year, the commission auction off frequencies in the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands. Next year, it will auction two mid-band spectrum auctions — the 3.5 GHz auction on June 25, 2020, and an auction in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band in the latter part of 2020.
“These and other steps will help us stay ahead of the spectrum curve and allow wireless innovation to thrive on our shores,” Pai said.
Information on Auction 103 is available at: www.fcc.gov/auction/103/factsheet.