FCC auction of mid-band spectrum generates nearly $81 billion in winning bids
The FCC generated $80.9 billion in an auction for mid-band spectrum
In between the two extremes is mid-band spectrum. Sprint’s mid-band holdings were exactly what T-Mobile was targeting when it offered $26.5 billion to buy its fellow wireless provider back in April 2018. The deal closed this past April giving T-Mobile control over Sprint’s 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum. These signals travel further than those of the high-band variety and are faster than low-band 5G. Many analysts expect T-Mobile to become the fastest 5G provider in the states thanks to its mid-band holdings once all the work is done.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who is leaving the regulatory agency this Wednesday afternoon when the transition to the Biden administration takes place, said, “These results represent a strong endorsement by the private sector of the service rules and transition plan put in place by the FCC to quickly make the C-band a critical part of 5G rollout in the United States. And they vindicate the hard choices the FCC made during the C-band proceeding—and that we made them. The FCC confronted a host of technical, legal, practical, and political challenges in structuring this auction. It would have been easy to delay. But we rightly pushed ahead and overcame every one of those obstacles. As a result, we significantly advanced United States leadership in 5G and have enabled America’s wireless consumers to more quickly benefit from 5G services.”
The next step in the process requires the auction winners to bid for licenses related to specific frequencies. The FCC will release a notice to the public containing the date and time when this assignment phase will take place.