Auction 102 will put nearly 3,000 24 GHz licenses up for grabs

On the heels of the conclusion of its first millimeter wave spectrum auction that raised $702 million, the Federal Communications Commission is forging ahead with another mmWave auction: this time, at 24 GHz.

Bidding in the 24 GHz auction (or Auction 102) will begin on March 14, with upfront payments due by February 19, the agency announced.

Auction 102 will offer up Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the 24.25–24.45 and 24.75–25.25 GHz band. There will be 2,909 licenses up for bid on a Partial Economic Area geographic basis that divides the country into 416 sections. Seven blocks of 100 megahertz will be available in nearly all of the licensed markets. (The FCC noted in its auction information that the G block in some markets is completely or partially encumbered, so in a few PEAs in Arizona and Nevada, only six blocks are available.)

The FCC said that 58 out of 60 applications for the 24 GHz auction have been deemed complete. In order to be a qualified bidder, companies must have a complete application and make an upfront payment.

Forty qualified bidders participated in the recently completed Auction 101. The identities of winning bidders in Auction 101, which are typically released after the close of the auction, will not be made public until after Auction 102 ends.

While the 28 GHz auction was held in the agency’s “simultaneous multiple-round” format, the FCC has said that the 24 GHz auction will use a clock auction format. It will start with a clock phase that lets participants bid on generic blocks in each PEA in successive bidding rounds, followed by an “assignment phase to allow winners of the generic blocks to bid for frequency-specific license assignments.”

The FCC is making a total of 1.55 gigahertz of spectrum available through Auctions 101 and 102. The agency plans to hold three more mmWave auctions during 2019, covering spectrum at 37 GHz, 39 GHz and 47 GHz.

According to FCC documents, minimum opening bids in Auction 102 for licenses in the ten markets with the largest covered populations are as follows:

-New York, New York: $5.047 million

-Los Angeles, California: $3.882 million

-Chicago, Illinois: $1.873 million.

-San Francisco, California: $1.806 million

-Baltimore, Maryland-Washington, D.C.: $1.568 million

-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $1.517 million

-Boston, Massachusetts: $1.355 million

-Dallas, Texas: $1.290 million

-Miami, Florida: $1.258 million

-Houston, Texas: $1.178 million


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