FCC Raises $80.9 Billion with the First Phase of the Mid-Band 5G Spectrum Auction

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has concluded bidding in the clock phase of Auction 107, the largest auction of mid-band 5G spectrum, and the highest-grossing spectrum auction overall in the US. The auction made available licenses for 280 MHz of spectrum in the 3.7- 3.98 GHz band—a portion of the so-called C-band.

On the eve of the auction, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai commented:

This historic FCC auction is already a record-breaking success. Bidders have won all of the 5,684 spectrum blocks that were up for bid. And gross proceeds have exceeded $80.9 billion, shattering the prior FCC auction record of $44.9 billion.

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.

I would like to thank the Commission staff for their hard work on the C-band proceeding. And I also would like to thank Commissioner Carr and former Commissioner O’Rielly for their support of the many policy choices that led to this tremendous accomplishment.”

Winning bidders will now have the opportunity to bid for frequency-specific licenses in the assignment phase of Auction 107. The FCC will release a public notice soon announcing further details regarding the assignment phase, including the date and time when bidding in the assignment phase will commence.

Click here to learn more about Auction 107.