Thursday, August 2, 2018

FCC sets 28 GHz auction for 5G for November 14

The FCC announced application and bidding procedures for the upcoming Spectrum Frontiers auctions of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz) and 24 GHz (24.25-24.45, 24.75-25.25 GHz) bands.

Two auctions will be held with different bidding procedures to accommodate differences in the characteristics of the licenses in the two bands:

  • Auction 101:  The auction of the licenses in the 28 GHz band will employ the standard simultaneous multiple round auction format.  The 28 GHz licenses will be offered in two 425 megahertz blocks by county.
  • Auction 102:  The auction of the licenses in the 24 GHz band will employ a clock auction format, beginning with a clock phase that will allow bidding on generic blocks in each Partial Economic Area in successive bidding rounds.  There will then be an assignment phase to allow winners of the generic blocks to bid for frequency-specific license assignments.  The 24 GHz licenses will be offered in seven 100 megahertz blocks.  

The bidding for the 28 GHz UMFUS licenses (Auction 101) will commence on November 14, 2018, and the bidding for the 24 GHz licenses (Auction 102) will commence after the bidding concludes in Auction 101.

Certain auction rules, such as the prohibition on certain communications, will apply across both auctions.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement:

"This is the latest in a long line of FCC efforts to make high-band spectrum available for flexible wireless use—efforts like the 2017 and 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Orders.  And we’re not stopping with these two auctions.  In the second half of 2019, we intend to hold an auction of three more millimeter-wave spectrum bands: 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz.  Between that auction and the auctions for which we establish procedures today, we’ll push almost 5 gigahertz of spectrum into the commercial marketplace over the course of the next seventeen months.  We’re also reforming our wireless infrastructure rules to ensure that the small-cell and fiber-based networks of the future can be built, for all the 5G spectrum in the world is pointless without 5G networks to make use of it.  These are the kinds of aggressive actions we need to take to promote innovation, investment, and United States leadership in 5G."