AWS-3 Auction to Commence on November 13, 2014


The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) recently released a Public Notice seeking comment on procedures for the upcoming AWS (advanced wireless services)-3 auction (designated as Auction 97).  The Bureau also set an auction commencement date of November 13, 2014.  The 1695-1710 MHz band will be licensed in an unpaired configuration for low-power mobile transmit (uplink) operations, and the proposed aggregate reserve price is nearly $580 million.  The 1755-1780 MHz band will be licensed paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band, with the 1755-1780 MHz band authorized for low-power mobile transmit (uplink) operations and the 2155-2180 MHz band authorized for base station and fixed (downlink) operations.  The proposed aggregate reserve price for the paired 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz licenses is nearly $10.1 billion.  Licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz band are being made available on a shared basis with incumbent Federal meteorological-satellite (MetSat) data users. Licenses in the 1755-1780 MHz band are being made available on a shared basis with a limited number of Federal incumbents indefinitely, while many of the Federal systems will over time relocate out of the band.

The 65 MHz of AWS-3 spectrum available in Auction 97 will be licensed on a geographic area basis.  Of the 1,614 available licenses, 880 will be auctioned by Economic Area (EA) and 734 will be auctioned by Cellular Market Area (CMA). The frequencies will be licensed in five and 10 MHz blocks, with each license having a total bandwidth of 5, 10, or 20 MHz.  The WTB is seeking comment on auction design, structure, and procedure topics such as the use of anonymous bidding and sequential bidding rounds, the reserve prices, and minimum open bids.  Comments on the Public Notice are due June 9, 2014, and reply comments are due June 23, 2014.

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