FCC 28 GHz Auction Draws Bids for Additional Licenses

After five round of now new licenses being bid on in the FCC's 28 GHz spectrum auction, there is movement on that front in round 27, with additional licenses drawing potential winning bids (PWBs).

Bidding in the round increased by $19,308,010 to a total of $336,265,480 bid for 2,503 licenses out of 3,072 up for auction. That bid dollar total was up 6.09% from round 26's $316,957,470.

From rounds 22 through 26, the bidding total continued to rise, but on the same 2,496 licenses.

The FCC is looking to free up the spectrum for 5G wireless buildouts, presumably the "highest and best use," which is the FCC's stated goal for where spectrum should be allocated, either via the FCC or market forces through an auction.

There are 40 qualified bidders competing for the 28 GHz spectrum, including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, but none of the major cable operators eyeing wireless plays--though Cox is signed up for the 24 GHz auction of spectrum for 5G, which has larger license sizes and which will begin as soon as the 28 GHz auction ends.

The FCC concedes it has never pushed so much spectrum into the market at one time before, which could mean those lower prices, but the point is to get the spectrum out there "fast" given that wireless carriers have been talking up the need for speed and bandwidth for an internet of everything, 5G world.

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.