The FCC has announced winning bidders from its 5G spectrum auction of flexible-use licenses in the 3.45 GHz band.
Thirteen of the 23 companies with winning bids in Auction 110 qualified as small businesses or as entities serving rural communities, the agency said. It said that, in addition, compared with the prior 5G auction, this auction saw a substantial increase in the number of winning bidders per market. More than one-third of the top 100 markets have at least four winning bidders, compared with 10 percent of the top 100 markets for Auction 107. The FCC said this broader range and distribution of winning bidders will increase competition by providing a diversity of wireless carriers with the mid-band spectrum resources needed to maintain American leadership in 5G.
“Today’s 3.45 GHz auction results demonstrate that the Commission’s pivot to mid-band spectrum for 5G was the right move,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “I am pleased to see that this auction also is creating opportunities for a wider variety of competitors, including small businesses and rural service providers. This is a direct result of the Commission’s efforts to structure this auction with diversity and competition front of mind. Enabling commercial use of this spectrum is important to America’s continuing economic recovery and 5G leadership, and I look forward to the continued collaboration between the FCC, NTIA and other federal agencies to find innovative ways to make spectrum available for next generation commercial and government services.”
The five bidders with the largest total gross winning bid amounts from both the clock and assignments phases were as follows:
The five bidders winning the largest number of licenses were as follows:
Auction 110 saw winning bidders in the clock phase for 4,041 of the 4,060 available generic blocks in the 3.45–3.55 GHz band, the FCC said. Gross proceeds for the auction exceeded $22.5 billion, which the agency said surpasses the law’s requirement that Auction 110 cover at least 110 percent of the expected sharing and relocation costs for federal users currently operating in the band — n this case $14,775,354,330, based on a January 14, 2021, estimate from NTIA. Notably, the 3.45 GHz auction closed as one of highest grossing auctions in the FCC’s history, the agency said.
“This successful auction will enable robust commercial use by an array of service providers, while also ensuring that federal incumbents are still protected from harmful interference where and when they require continued access to the band,” a statement from the FCC reads. “Collectively, the 3.45 GHz band and the neighboring 3.5 GHz and 3.7 GHz bands represent 530 megahertz of mid-band spectrum for 5G, the next generation of wireless services. Wider 5G deployment means that more people in more places will be more connected.”