Analysis of this year’s major spectrum auctions
Nov 17, 2017 by Spectrum Research Service Blog


TagsEricsson, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm, Spectrum Auctions

Beginning with the United States’ 600 MHz incentive auction this week, we will be analysing the results and consequences of this years significant spectrum auctions. In the coming weeks we will be examining Ireland’s 3.5 GHz auction as well as taking a more general look at auctions in the 700 MHz band.

Our analysis of the US incentive auction includes maps showing the prices paid and the licences awarded to the five biggest winners.

Research Notes

FCC 600 MHz incentive auction

17 November 2017
In March 2017 the FCC assigned licences in the 600 MHz band by means of an incentive auction where broadcasters offered their spectrum through a reverse auction and this was made available to operators through a forward auction. The auction raised USD 19.7 billion and awarded licences in 70 MHz of the 600 MHz band to 50 […]

Biggest winners in the US 600 MHz auction

17 November 2017
These graphs show the licences won by the five biggest winners in the 2017 US incentive auction. Licences bought by T-Mobile Licences bought by Dish Licences bought by COMCAST Licences bought by Bluewater Wireless Licences bought by AT&T

3.6 – 3.8 GHz

15 November 2017
3.6-3.7 achieved a wider IMT identification at WRC-15 but 3.7-3.8 GHz did not enjoy the same success. Europe is pushing ahead with releasing 3.6-3.8 GHz along with 3.4-3.6 GHz, while the US is considering how to encourage the use of fixed and mobile broadband services in 3.7 GHz -4.2 GHz. C-band spectrum will not be […]

4.5 GHz

13 November 2017
This band – 4.4-4.9 GHz – has been used for 5G trails by Nokia; Ericsson and Softbank; Intel and also figures in Qualcomm’s 5G plans. It is expected to be included in the 3GPP’s early release of the 5G standard. In terms of countries, Japan has shown the most interest in this band so far.

3.5 GHz

9 November 2017

3.5 GHz received a global mobile allocation at WRC-15, but a shift in focus means it is now being seen as both a 4G and potential 5G band. The band has been selected for the two major initiatives designed to drive 5G: the Citizen’s Broadband project in the US and the EU 5G Action Plan. […]


20 November 2017

Sweden 450 MHz

18 November 2017

Sweden 1.5 GHz

17 November 2017

Paraguay 700 MHz

9 November 2017

Latvia 3.4 GHz and 3.6 GHz

2 November 2017

News stories

21 November 2017
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) had expected to start an auction procedure in March, but is now bogged down in a lawsuit with the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services amid plans for a wireless wholesale open access network (WOAN). One consultant doubts ICASA’s process will ever take place. In July 2016, […]

Top Australian official says spectrum auctions can be anti-competitive

20 November 2017
Rod Sims, chairman of Australian competition regulator the ACCC, said part of the value for mobile operators in bidding in auctions is to block rivals from acquiring spectrum. He is not the first regulator to remark on how such contests can influence operator behaviour; the US Department of Justice made a similar observation some years […]

5G Americas says 3GPP-set tuning ranges will assist global harmonisation

17 November 2017
“Tuning range” solutions, in which adjacent or nearly adjacent bands can be considered harmonised if equipment can be reconfigured to operate over multiple bands, are capable of generating the same benefits as harmonised spectrum allocations, says the mobile industry body.A massive amount of spectrum will be needed to cover the key use cases of 5G, […]

UK broadcast group calls for an end to “salami slicing” of UHF in Europe

16 November 2017
Digital UK has launched what it says is an “unashamedly ambitious” plan for the UHF band in the UK and Europe. A broadcasting industry source told PolicyTracker that the aim of the report is to set the agenda for future discussions on the UHF band. It anticipates the arguments that the mobile industry is likely to use […]

New documentary highlights film star’s WWII spectrum invention

14 November 2017
As a documentary about Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr premieres in London, PolicyTracker takes a look at her work on spread spectrum. This helped to pave the way for frequency hopping, and ultimately, technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Austria-born Hedy Lamarr (9 November 1914-19 January 2000) is best known for her acting career. However, she was […]