C-Band Bidding Tops $2 Billion

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The C-Band auction has pushed past $2 billion, totaling $2,110,528,700 in bids after three rounds.

Currently (Wednesday, Dec. 9), bidding is in three, one-hour rounds and the FCC has announced that Thursday's bidding will follow the same schedule, with rounds at 10-11 a.m., 1-2 p.m., and 4-5 p.m.

Related: FCC Sets C-Band Auction for December

If past is prologue, the FCC will eventually increase the number of rounds and decrease bidding time to help speed the auction.

Fifty-seven bidders qualified for the auction (auction 107), which began Dec. 8. That list includes some familiar names: AT&T, Cellco Partnership, Cox, T-Mobile, and United States Cellular.

The FCC is auctioning 5,684 flexible-use licenses for spectrum in the 3.7– 3.98 GHz band in the contiguous U.S. 

While use is flexible, bidders are expected to use it to expand their 5G footprints. There are 57 qualified bidders.

Some predictions put the value of the spectrum--280 GHz worth of midband frequencies--at $25 billion-$30 billion, but the C-Band Alliance says it could be worth as much as $77 billion.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.