The FCC’s auction of C-band (3.7-4.2 GHz) licenses is set to begin today, Tuesday December 8. The agency in February adopted rules for the band (3.7-4.2 GHz), which allocated the lower 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz band) for flexible terrestrial wireless services (with a 20-megahertz guard band (3.98-4.0 GHz).
Agency Chairman Ajit Pai has called Auction 107 “a watershed moment” for American leadership in 5G and said it represents “the Commission’s most significant action yet” to repurpose mid-band frequencies.
The C-band rules also require existing satellite operators to repack their operations from the band’s entire 500 megahertz into the upper 200 megahertz (4.0-4.2 GHz).
In March, the agency voted to incentivize payments to satellite companies that vacate the spectrum more quickly. The satellite companies can make up to $9.7 billion in potential incentive payments from the auction. The Commission would also allocate up to $5.2 billion to cover the costs of repacking the incumbent spectrum users on top of the incentive payments, Reuters reported. The FCC said the money will be needed to launch new satellites and install filters on earth stations.