By Chris Donkin
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed final details of its next spectrum auction, with the process scheduled to begin on 29 July and focus on allocating blocks in rural parts of the country.
Its latest sale was announced at MWC Barcelona 2022 by FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel and will cover licences for the 2.5GHz band in areas with currently unassigned allocations.
The regulator expects to offer 8,000 flexible use county-based overlay licences, though noted it still had some pending applications from communities given priority access to the bands, which could slightly reduce the number available.
Alongside publishing the date and final details of the auction, the FCC also launched a mapping tool able to identify the location and scale of unassigned spectrum in specific areas.
Rosenworcel stated the “2.5GHz band auction can help deliver on the promise of 5G services and ensure that it reaches as many people as possible,” emphasising it provided an “opportunity to fill in some of the critical 5G gaps in rural America”.
The sale will commence less than nine months after operators pledged to spend around US$22 billion on licences in the 3.45GHz to 3.5GHz range, in a sale lauded as being one of the highest grossing in the country’s history.