Millimeter-wave spectrum is one of the keys to U.S. competitiveness in 5G, and the FCC is doing its part to make it available. The Commission plans to consider the Spectrum Frontiers Fourth Report and Order during its December Open Commission Meeting, Dec. 12, which would introduce incentive auctions in the upper 37 GHz (37.6-38.6 GHz), 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz), and 47 GHz (47.2-48.2 GHz) bands. (GN Docket No. 14-177). The auctions would be held by the end of next year.
Combined, the upper 37 GHz and the 39 GHz bands would become the largest amount of contiguous millimeter wave spectrum, 2,400 megahertz, to be allocated for flexible-use wireless services, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The 47 GHz band would provide an additional 1,000 megahertz of mmWave spectrum for such services.
“Notably, this would be the second time the Commission uses an incentive auction format,” Pai said. “And combined, all of these auctions will free up more spectrum than is currently used to provide terrestrial mobile broadband by all providers combined.”
The FCC is currently auctioning off Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses at 28 GHz (27.5–28.35 GHz), which will be followed by an auction of 24 GHz (24.25–24.45 and 24.75–25.25 GHz).