The auction, which saw spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz spectrum band up for grabs, comfortably exceeded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s reserve price of $14.77 billion
Today marks the completion of the first phase of the US’s latest 5G spectrum auction, raising an enormous $22 billion.
The winners of the auction will not be revealed until the next phase of the auction process, in which the various blocks of spectrum are directly assigned to the operators. We are told that 33 companies qualified to bid in this auction, though how many ultimately did so and won remains to be seen.
The bidding appears to have been competitive, however, with 151 rounds being recorded. Of the 4,060 licence areas for sale, only 19 were not sold.
The auction made 100 MHz spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band available for operators, with a 40 MHz spectrum cap for each bidder.
As huge as this result is, it still pales in comparison to the $81.1 billion auction for spectrum in the C-band (3.7 GHz). This is somewhat to be expected, however, with the previous auction offering more than double the spectrum compared to the ongoing auction.
In related news, earlier this month AT&T and Verizon said that they had agreed to delay their commercial launch of C-band wireless services until early January, pending an assessment into the spectrums impact on aviation safety technologies.
The complaints being raised by the aviation industry appear to be largely unfounded, with 5G services in this band already in commercial use in around 40 countries worldwide, with none having reported interference with aviation equipment.
AT&T and Verizon both appear content to wait until any concerns have been assuaged, in the meantime racing forward with their deployments, aiming to meet targets of covering 100 million people with mid-band 5G in 46 markets by March next year.
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