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FCC Garners $284 Million In Initial Bids In New 24GHz 5G Auction

The FCC pulled in $284 million in the first round of its second-ever auction of 5G spectrum licenses, which commenced on Thursday.

The government agency is auctioning off 2,909 24GHz millimeter wave licenses. Total bids in the first round hit $284,144,450. In contrast, the previous 28GHz 5G spectrum license auction kicked off with just over $36 million in bids on November 14, 2018. The 28GHz auction ended in January with total provisionally winning bids of just over $700 million.

Much of the early bidding excitement in this 24GHz auction is centering around major metropolitan areas in the US. For instance, the New York license scored a high bid of $5,047,000, with Los Angeles following at $3,882,000 and Chicago at $1,873,000.

Qualified bidders in the auction include major mobile operators such as AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, among 38 bidders. Cable companies, Cox Communications and Frontier, however, were turned down as “non-qualified” by the FCC.

The FCC won’t reveal the identity of winning bidders in either the 28GHz or 24GHz auctions until the 24GHz auction is over.

Spectrum analysts anticipate that the 24GHz auction should be more successful than the previous 28GHz sell-off. AllNet Insights & Analytics predicted in January that the 24GHz Auction 102 could generate between $2.4 billion to $5.6 billion in final proceeds.

Meanwhile, AT&T has already asked the FCC for permission to test 5G equipment at 24GHz.―Light Reading

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