The Federal Communications Commission has revealed more details about the forthcoming 5G spectrum auction in December.
This auction of airwaves in the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz spectrum – starting on December 10, 2019 — will be the largest spectrum auction in the history, offering licenses covering up to 3,400 MHz.
Auction 103 is designed as an incentive auction that will provide incentive payments to existing 39 GHz licensees that relinquish their spectrum usage rights, increasing the amount of 39 GHz spectrum available for new licenses.
The auction will offer licenses for 100 MHz blocks of spectrum in Partial Economic Areas (PEA) through a clock phase and an assignment phase. The clock phase will allow bidding on generic blocks in two categories — one for Upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz, and one for 47 GHz –in each PEA.
The clock phase will serve to determine both the winners of generic spectrum blocks and the amount of incentive payments due to those incumbent licensees in the 39 GHz band that opt to relinquish their spectrum usage rights.
The assignment phase will allow bidding for frequency-specific license assignments, while ensuring contiguous block assignments within a PEA.
FCC also voted to modernize the regulatory framework for the 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum to be available for advanced wireless services, including 5G. The 2.5 GHz band — the single largest band of contiguous spectrum below 3 GHz — offers better coverage and capacity for 5G mobile services.