After 73 rounds of negotiations, in which 8,017 Educational Broadband Services (EBS) licenses in the 2.5 GHz band were made available, Auction 108 was concluded a few hours earlier through which United’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC, for its abbreviation in English). ) states managed to grant 7,8072 effective licenses and raised $428 million.
The process involved a month and the participation of 82 bidders who competed for licenses for the medium band for 5G intended to serve rural areas of the country (many are located in areas with unassigned spectrum); And although the process is already over, it remains for the entity to detail the details of the case: how many licenses were left for each operator and when each will have to be disbursed.
There is speculation in the market that T-Mobile has monopolized most of the licenses in the auction in which AT&T, Verizon (Celco Partnership) and Dish Network (Carbonate Wireless) also participated, among other operators and ISPs. It should also be remembered that T-Mobile already (because it owns or because it rents) part of the 2.5 GHz spectrum in the country as a result of its acquisition of Sprint in 2020.
As far as the figure reached, it is, undoubtedly, important; However, and as FearsWireless recalls, this isn’t a record auction in the country, as Band C’s summer auction in 2021 brought in a total of $81.2 billion.
“The 2.5 GHz license overlay auction, the first of its kind, provides an opportunity to fill spectrum gaps in rural wireless coverage,” the FCC said in its statement announcing the start of the process on July 29, 2019. After closing, 145 inactive licenses showed the existence. And, as reflected by various market speculation prior to knowledge of the body’s balance sheet, it is possible that they were licenses that did not provide full access to spectrum because they had cross-owners who had the right to operate them. was right.
“We all know there are gaps in 5G coverage, especially in rural America, and this auction is a unique opportunity to fill them,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, opening the game. Now, the industry is waiting to know its closing balance.