30 Megahertz Spectrum Offering by The FCC “Low Band Spectrum Incentive Auction” March 2016


The unlicensed spectrum has been powerful platform for driving innovation, investment, and economic growth. Hundreds of billions of dollars in value for our economy and consumers, has been generated by the unlicensed spectrum, via breakthroughs like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. What technologies will emerge next?

The FCC has a central goal to maximize the amount of spectrum made available for licensed use, and unlicensed use. Bidding Procedures were released by the FCC for the Incentive Auction scheduled to begin March 29, 2016. The auction is designed to offer high-quality low-band spectrum for mobile broadband operators, adopting the Procedures Public Notice.

In a press release dated August 6, 2015 the FCC endorsed its prior decision, in May 2014, to offer 30 megahertz of spectrum in its incentive auction scheduled for 2016. The incentive auction will be laying the groundwork for competition in the wireless marketplace.

According to the FCC this incentive auction is “The-first-of its-kind reserve” because it will be available to both Nationwide and Non-Nationwide providers, “Who currently hold less than one-third of available high-quality low-band spectrum in a given license area”. The 30 megahertz reserve will be within the 600 MHz band.

A reconsideration petition was denied by the FCC asking for an increase of up to 40 megahertz for qualified licensees. The Commission also denied a petition not to adopt specific factors applicable to different spectrum bands when examining the effects of the sale between buyers in a geographic market.

A spectrum reserve trigger was adopted by the Commission to have non-reserve-eligible and reserve-eligible bidders share the incentive auction costs.

Not only will allowing the bidding of the spectrum reserve make supplementary low-band spectrum available to multiple users, it will promote competitive bidding, warranting all bidders have the opportunity to attain a portion of the 600 MHz environment. The bidding is also intended to demote excessive concentration in holdings of the low-band spectrum.

Article: “Amy Jones | HCTA”
Editor: “M. Danmole”
Image: “N.T.I.A”