FCC prepares next mmWave auction

From Mobile World Live:

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to unleash another massive tranche of mmWave spectrum for mobile service, as it approved an auction of airwaves in the 37GHz, 39GHz and 47GHz bands for the second half of 2019.

Commissioner Brendan Carr declared 2019 “the year of 5G”, noting the new auction plan will “result in more spectrum being auctioned in a single year than at any time in the commission’s history”.

The auction is the third in a series of mmWave proceedings scheduled by the FCC to open new airwaves for next generation services. A 28GHz auction is currently underway, with a separate 24GHz proceeding set to follow its close.

Bidding in the latest auction will be conducted in two stages: participants will make offers on general licences during an initial clock phase before vying for specific frequencies during an assignment phase.

The plan also includes provisions for incumbents in the 39GHz band, giving them the option to bid on new spectrum assignments or relinquish their licences entirely in exchange for monetary compensation.

A total of 3,400MHz of licensed spectrum will be up for grabs, offered in 100MHz blocks. That figure includes 2,400MHz of airwaves from 37.6GHz to 40GHz, which the FCC noted is the largest contiguous swathe of mmWave spectrum offered to date.

An exact date for the proceeding was not set.