The auction of U.S. spectrum usage rights in the 3.7 to 3.98 GHz range is breaking all records: 80.917 billion U.S. dollars (67 billion euros) in early bids have already been collected in the 97 rounds of the first auction phase. The US regulatory authority FCC has never made so much money with a mobile phone frequency auction before.
The previous record dates back to 2015 and stands at $44.9 billion. At the time, 1.600 licenses for a total of 65 MHz spectrum around 1.7 and 2.1 GHz ied for twelve years. This time there are 5.684 licenses for a total of 280 MHz of spectrum for 15 years. So, calculated per megahertz and year, the prices were higher six years ago, the absolute amount was lower.
However, the current auction is not over yet. In the period that has now come to an end "Clock"-Phase was set to determine which bidders get how much spectrum in which regions. Now begins the allocation phase of the 5G auction. This decides which frequency ranges go to which successful bidders. Even within a band, lower frequencies are usually more desirable than higher frequencies because lower frequencies penetrate obstacles such as walls better with the same transmission strength.
12 GHz in view
Meanwhile, the FCC is looking for more spectrum for wireless services. For example, the agency is looking at the 12.2 to 12.7 GHz frequency range. Dort funken derzeit TV-Satelliten, nicht-geostationare Satelliten und ortsfeste Telecom-Netzbetreiber. The FCC is now seeking public comment on whether and how it would be possible to open up this spectrum for mobile use without impacting existing users.