FCC Releases the List of its Millimeter Wave Spectrum Auction Winners

Wireless ProviderThe Federal Communications Commission has disclosed the names of American companies which won licenses in FCC’s recent auction of mmWave spectrum. The Commission recently auctioned spectrum which is apt for 5G deployments in 24 Gigahertz and 28 Gigahertz mmWave bands. The main 5G mmWave auction winners were Verizon®, AT&T®, Windstream®, T-Mobile®, US Cellular®, and Starry®. While each of those US companies has won no less than 100 licenses, many others won only one.

All major telecom carriers eventually are expected to roll out 5G service in both millimeter wave and lower-frequency bands. The benefit of the former is that extensive swaths of 5G spectrum are made available in mmWave bands, allowing telecom players to support the maximum broadband internet speeds. While the wireless provider Verizon® and the Dallas-based telecommunications company AT&T® already have mmWave holdings, they wanted more of these.

5Gmm Wave Auction Winners

The “Auction 101”, which was for 28 GHz bands, included licenses for just a part of the US and excluded several metro areas, where the 5G spectrum is already held by Verizon®. The wireless carrier apparently wanted to expand those holdings, because it was the main winner in the auction, picking up more than 1,000 licenses for over 850 markets.

The FCC issued multiple licenses, each one for a broad 425 Megahertz swath of spectrum, per county. Some companies apparently won both spectrum licenses in some US areas.

In the “Auction 102”, Verizon® won 9 24 GHz spectrum licenses in 5 partial economic areas.

The US has just more than 400 partial economic areas, and the 24 GHz auction included 7 licenses for each PEA, with each one including a 100 Megahertz band of spectrum.

Best Internet ProviderFurther, T-Mobile® won more than 850 licenses in over 850 counties in FCC’s “Auction 101”, in addition to over 1,300 licenses in 400 partial economic areas, at least one license in nearly every PEA, in its “Auction 102”.

As per reports, Sprint® bid under the company name “ATI Sub LLC” in FCC’s “Auction 102”, but that entity did not win any licenses. Sprint® did not respond to a question from Telecompetitor, which asked the carrier to confirm this news. Sprint® has extensive holdings of mid-band spectrum, though.

The 5G mmWave winnings of AT&T® were in the 24 Gigahertz band, where the best internet provider won more than 800 licenses in over 350 partial economic areas, which will augment its existing holdings.