After 38 days of action, the FCC auction for 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum licenses concluded on Thursday, with nearly 3,000 items receiving bids.
Collectively, provisionally winning bids for 2,965 licenses totaled $702.52 million. The FCC still holds just over 100 licenses. Forty qualified bidders participated in the auction, which kicked off in November.
During the FCC’s first high-band 5G spectrum auction, also known as Auction 101, county-based licenses were up for grabs in two 425-megahertz blocks of spectrum at 27.5-27.925 GHz and 27.925-28.350 GHz.
Two licenses covering Dane, Wis., garnered the highest bids at $12.5 million and $11.4 million. The other top 10 bids were also made up of geographical pairs:
- Two licenses in Honolulu went for $10.27 million and $10.06 million, respectively
- Linn, Iowa – $9.9 million and $9.8 million
- Kern, Calif. – $8.7 million and $8.5 million
- Hidalgo, Texas – $8.17 million and $7.18 million
The spectrum auction continued despite a partial government shutdown, completing 176 rounds. Now attention turns to Auction 102, which is slated to start right away, offering 24 GHz spectrum licenses. Most of the 28 GHz licenses were already held by carriers before the auction, but there is expected to be more activity from additional players vying for millimeter wave licenses in the 24 GHz band.
Identities of winning bidders in the recent 28 GHz auction won’t be released to the public until bidding in Auction 102 closes.