Yesterday was a banner day for ensuring the continued leadership of America in mobile broadband services. The FCC’s AWS-3 spectrum auction blew past the $10.07 billion reserve price for the spectrum licenses in just 4 days of bidding.
Last reported, the auction has so far received more than 800 bids, and provisional bids reached more than $16.4 billion. This means the proceeds of the auction will offset the relocation cost of government users and to pay for the administration of the auction itself. It appears that the AWS-3 auction will generate sufficient revenue to meet the funding needed for FirstNet and the other requirements of the Spectrum Act, while still providing significant revenue that may later reduce the federal deficit. While we can’t make predictions for what the final price will be or how much longer the auction will continue, it’s incredible that the reserve price was exceeded on only the fourth day of bidding.
Quite simply, the AWS-3 auction surpassed the requirements set by Congress for this much needed spectrum.
The 1755-1780 and 2155-2180 MHz spectrum bands are only the latest example of what can happen when paired, licensed and internationally harmonized spectrum is available for the U.S. wireless industry. As numerous independent reports repeatedly show (example and example), the U.S. wireless industry needs more spectrum to meet consumer demands for a mobile, broadband connected life. This spectrum auction is another step in the process to meet these demands.
CTIA applauds the bipartisan process that included members of Congress, FCC, NTIA, the Department of Defense and other affected federal agencies working cooperatively to make this spectrum auction a reality and a resounding success. The AWS-3 spectrum will be a critical down payment in allowing the mobile broadband ecosystem to invest and innovate to the benefit of American consumers.
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