FCC OK's Initial Applications of Major 5G Auction Winners

The initial applications for some winning bidders in the FCC's largest-ever spectrum auction (auction 103) have been accepted for filing, according to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Related: FCC's Biggest-Ever Spectrum Auction Officially Closes

The applications of the top spectrum winners--Straight Path Spectrum, ($3,417,133,445), FiberTower Spectrum Holdings ($2,379,103,897), and T-Mobile ($931,609,379)--passed muster, though the FCC points out that the approval is an initial pass.

"The Commission may return or dismiss the applications, however, if upon further examination, they are found to be defective or not in conformance with the Commission’s rules."

A number of other bidders have also passed initial muster, but not all winning bidder applications have secured initial approval. The FCC said it is still vetting some of those.

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 14,144 licenses — can be used for both fixed and mobile broadband and was auctioned in 100-megahertz blocks in partial economic areas (PEAs). 

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.