The Federal Communications Commission confirmed the start of its first high-band 5G spectrum auction. Bidding starts with the 28 GHz band and then will go to the 24 GHz band, with a total of 1.55 GHz of spectrum available for operators. These are expected to be among the first frequencies used for commercial 5G mobile services and are already being tested by the US’s largest mobile operator, Verizon.
The US regulator confirmed that another auction of high spectrum is planned for 2019, covering the 37 GHz, 39 GHz and 47 GHz mmWave bands. In total, the FCC aims to release almost 5 GHz of spectrum to the market in the next 15 months – equal to more than all the spectrum currently used by mobile operators today.
The auction of the licenses in the 28 GHz band will employ the standard simultaneous multiple round auction format. The 28 GHz licenses will be offered in two 425 MHz blocks by county.
The auction of the 24 GHz band will employ a clock auction format, beginning with a clock phase that will allow bidding on generic blocks in each Partial Economic Area in successive bidding rounds. There will then be an assignment phase to allow winners of the generic blocks to bid for frequency-specific license assignments. The 24 GHz licenses will be offered in seven 100 MHz blocks.