FCC kicks off 3.5 GHz spectrum auction for 5G

The Federal Communications Commission said it is beginning its first auction of licenses for prime, mid-band spectrum suitable for 5G.
AT&T 5G network expansion
The spectrum auction called Auction 105 will offer county-based Priority Access Licenses in the 3550-3650 MHz band. This is a critical step in freeing up spectrum for the commercial marketplace — a core part of the FCC’s 5G FAST Plan, said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“After fixing past policy errors, we’re now set to allow auction magic to efficiently allocate 70 megahertz per county for innovative wireless services, making 3.5 GHz the first new 5G mid-band spectrum in the U.S.,” said FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly.

This auction will offer seven Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in each county-based license area, for a total of 22,631 PALs nationwide — the largest number of flexible-use spectrum licenses ever made available for bidding in a single auction. Each PAL will consist of a 10-megahertz unpaired channel in the 3.55-3.65 GHz band.