US 5G Auction Races Past $1B

The US auction of millimeter wave 24GHz 5G spectrum has easily surpassed $1 billion in proceeds during the initial phase of tenders.

Bids hit $1,409,902,875 on Monday afternoon in the 23rd round of the 24GHz auction. That means this auction has already passed the total of $703 million in bids for the first 28GHz 5G auction, which started in November. (See FCC's 28GHz 5G Auction Kicks Off With $36M+ in Bids.)

Bidding from the 38 qualified parties -- including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile -- is still focused on major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

On Monday, Sasha Javid, COO at The Spectrum Consortium, alerted me to new interactive auction maps he has created. He says Van Horn, Texas, has an "early lead on a price per MHz-POP basis."

The 24GHz auction has started with a "clock phase" auction in which participants bid on blocks of capacity in 416 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) across the US over successive bidding rounds, a process which is still underway. The 2,909 24GHz licenses currently up for auction are based on the PEAs -- see the FCC's PEA list -- and will be followed by an "assignment phase" that allows the winners of the generic blocks to bid for specific frequency license assignments. (See FCC 24GHz 5G Auction Crosses $525M in Bids.)

AllNet Insights & Analytics predicted in January that the 24GHz Auction 102 could generate between $2.4 billion and $5.6 billion in final proceeds. (See Forget 28GHz, the 24GHz Auction Is the One to Watch.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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