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FCC's reverse auction of 600MHz spectrum might end this week; forward auction to begin next month?

FCC's reverse auction of 600MHz spectrum might end this week; forward auction to begin next month?
According to a report from BTIG Research, the first part of the FCC's auction of 600MHz spectrum could end as early as this week This would be the "reverse auction." During this part of the process, the FCC and the television broadcasters go through several rounds of bidding until it the agency is able to purchase the most amount of spectrum at the lowest price.

The FCC will soon announce the amount of money that must be bid by participants to end the auction process. This so-called "bogey" is expected to be in the range of $30-33 billion. If the forward auction doesn't generate this amount of money, the FCC will have to go back to the broadcasters for another "reverse auction" round and try to get the spectrum at a lower price. The amount of spectrum offered also would be reduced to 90MHz from 100MHz.

What makes the low-frequency 600MHz spectrum so valuable is that these airwaves travel farther and penetrate buildings better than higher-frequency spectrum. For example, T-Mobile uses 700MHz spectrum for its Extended Range LTE service that it says travels "twice as far and is four times better in buildings."

Speaking of T-Mobile, back in November, banking firm Wells Fargo said that the nation's third largest carrier had committed $8 billion to the auction, topped only by the $10 billion budgeted by AT&T for the auction. Verizon is also expected to participate while Sprint is sitting out the auction. Other participants could include cable giants Comcast and Dish Network. The forward auction should start by the end of next month.

source: BTIG via  FierceWireless


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