YOU ARE AT:PolicyDay 1 of H-Block spectrum auction generates $221M in bids

Day 1 of H-Block spectrum auction generates $221M in bids

The first day of the Federal Communications Commission’s Auction 96 included three rounds of bidding and a total purse of more than $221 million pledged for the licenses up for grabs. Of the 176 licenses up for auction, 78 had received a potential winning bid, while 98 had yet to receive an offer.

The licenses included in Auction 96 include 10 megahertz of spectrum in the upper 1.9 GHz, also known as the H-Block. A total of 23 entities had qualified to participate in the auction process, including a number of entities labeled under the names of individuals as well as a handful of established telecom operators like Ntelos, NE Colorado Cellular and Puerto Rico Telephone Co.

After three rounds, the economic area license covering portions of New York City, Northern New Jersey and sections of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Vermont had gained the highest bid at $54.1 million. The FCC is not releasing the names of those holding the highest bids until after the auction concludes.

Other markets receiving top bids include the license covering a large portion of Southern California including Los Angeles, which garnered a bid of nearly $32.9 million after three rounds; $16.7 million for the license covering Chicago and surrounding areas; and nearly $10.8 million for the H-Block license covering the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area.

The New York and Southern California licenses had received new bids as of the last round on the opening day, while the Chicago and Washington, D.C./Baltimore licenses received their high bids during the opening round.

EA spectrum map

Significant markets that had yet to receive bids included Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Oklahoma City; Cleveland/Akron, Ohio; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Charlotte, N.C.

Auction 96 is expected to generate somewhere near $2 billion in proceeds for the national treasury, though some of the proceeds are set to be used by the FirstNet nationwide public-safety network that the U.S. government has earmarked up to $7 billion in auction proceeds to help fund.

H-Block band plan

Most of the nation’s largest wireless operators are bypassing Auction 96 in order to focus their spectrum-buying efforts on the upcoming AWS-3 auction involving a total of 50 megahertz of spectrum in the 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz bands adjacent to the 1.7/2.1 GHz spectrum bands currently used by a number of carriers to support LTE rollouts; and the mid-2015 planned auction of 600 MHz spectrum licenses.

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