FCC High-Band 5G Spectrum Auction Tops $7B

Nine rounds into the FCC's move to increase the frequency of bidding and decrease the amount of time bidders had in each round, its high-band frequency spectrum auction (103) has drawn over $7 billion dollars in gross bids. 

The total after 45 rounds was $7,041,753,160 

The 35 qualified bidders in the auction are competing for a whopping 3,400 MHz of millimeter-wave spectrum (in the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands), the most spectrum the FCC has ever offered in an auction of any type. The spectrum can be used for both fixed and mobile broadband and is being auctioned in 100 MHz blocks in partial economic areas (PEAs). 

After the initial auction, there will be a follow-on auction among any of the license winners who want specific frequencies. 

The most recent high-band ("spectrum frontiers" branded) auction, which ended last May raised $2,024,268,941 in gross proceeds after 91 rounds, but that was for approximately 700 MHz. 

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.