FCC Grants More High-Band Spectrum Licenses

The FCC has granted more spectrum licenses for Auction 103, saying their applications were complete and there were no petitions to deny the applications for license. 

Getting the nod were Regina G. Azucena, East Kentucky Network, Monarch Wireless. OptimERA, Inc., OTZ Telephone Cooperative, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, , VTel Wireless, with the vast majority going to Monarch. 

The FCC's Spectrum Frontiers auction of high-band spectrum for 5G (auction 103) closed March 12, raising $7,558,703,201, with $3,084,172,898 going to pay off existing licensees and the FCC netting $4,474,530,303.  

The 35 qualified bidders in the auction competed for a whopping 3,400 MHz of flexible use, millimeter-wave, spectrum (in the upper 37-gigahertz, 39-GHz and 47-GHz bands), the most spectrum the FCC has ever offered in an auction of any type. The spectrum — which was offered as 14,142 licenses — can be used for both fixed and mobile broadband and was auctioned in 100-megahertz blocks in partial economic areas (PEAs). 

The FCC granted licenses to T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular Corp., Straight Path, ATI Sub LLC, FiberTower Spectrum Holdings, Window Wireless and Windstream earlier this month.  

Straight Path Spectrum was the top bidder in Auction 103 ($3,417,133,445), followed by FiberTower Spectrum Holdings ($2,379,103,897), and T-Mobile ($931,609,379).  

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.