The FCC Thursday said bidding in Auction 103 ended. The auction made 3,400 MHz of millimeter-wave spectrum available in the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands. The auction had a total of $7,558,703,201 in net bids, with 28 bidders winning a total of 14,142 of 14,144, or more than 99.9 percent, of available licenses. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile were big winners.
“The successful conclusion of Auction 103—the largest amount of spectrum offered in an auction in U.S. history—is one more significant step the FCC has taken toward maintaining American leadership in 5G,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Last year, the FCC auctioned the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands. All told, those two auctions and this one have made available almost five GHz of high-band spectrum for commercial use.”
Putting that in perspective, “that is more spectrum than is currently used for terrestrial mobile broadband by all wireless service providers in the United States combined,” said Pai. He characterized Auction 103 as “a tremendous success.”
Auction 103 offered licenses made available, in part, because existing 39 GHz licensees committed to relinquish their 39 GHz spectrum use rights in exchange for incentive payments determined by the auction bidding. The incentive payments for existing licensees totaled $3,084,172,898, leaving net proceeds for the auction of $4,474,530,303.
Later this year, the FCC will hold two mid-band spectrum auctions. Bidding in the 3.5 GHz auction begins on June 25, and bidding in the 3.7 GHz auction (known as the C-band) is expected to begin on December 8.
Details such as specific payment deadlines and the filing of long-form applications are available at: https://go.usa.gov/xdF4Z. So too, are other post-auction procedures, including those regarding incentive payments.