Total gross bids in the C-band auction topped $2.3 billion after round four Wednesday, according to the FCC. The exact figure was $2,319,760,700.
The Commission is making available 280 MHz of mid-band spectrum in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band. Auction 107 is offering 5,684 new flexible-use overlay licenses based on Partial Economic Areas in the band.
The auction began Tuesday over the objections of some aviation industry specialists and satellite operators. A federal appeals court rejected appeals from satellite operators who are being repacked from the lower to the upper portion of the band.
Last month, Airlines for America, representing major airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, the Aerospace Industry Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, major aviation unions and others, raised concerns about the auction, because the C-band changes could impact an adjacent aviation frequency band, Reuters noted.
They said a six-month review of 5G network emissions with radio altimeter performance by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) found risks of harmful interference on all types of aircraft. The review suggested the risk “is widespread and has the potential for broad impacts” to U.S. aviation operations, “including the possibility of catastrophic failures leading to multiple fatalities, in the absence of appropriate mitigations.”
That led House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) this week to urge the auction be delayed. He called on the FCC to work with the FAA and aviation industry experts to ensure “the safety of the hundreds of millions of Americans who fly each year is not endangered by the FCC’s rushed plan.”
An agency spokesman said the Commission didn’t plan to delay the auction. The FCC concluded in its order that its rules “would protect radio altimeters used by aircraft. And we continue to have no reason to believe that 5G operations in the C-Band will cause harmful interference to radio altimeters.” The Commission added that the “altimeters operate with more than 200 megahertz of separation from the C-band spectrum to be auctioned, more protection than is afforded in some other countries.”
The post C-Band Auction Bids Surge Past $2B Despite Aviation Interference Fears appeared first on Inside Towers.