The first day of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) auction of 1900MHz H block spectrum included three rounds of bidding and a total commitment of more than USD221 million. Of the 176 licences up for grabs, 78 had received a potential winning bid, while 98 had yet to receive an offer, RCR Wireless reports. Significant markets that have yet to receive bids include Sacramento, California; San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Oklahoma City; Cleveland/Akron, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; and Charlotte, North Carolina. The FCC is not releasing the names of those entities holding the highest bids until after the auction concludes.
In related news, Fierce Wireless reports that US satellite TV giant – and long-time wireless market aspirant – DISH Network is participating in the H block auction under the name ‘American H Block Wireless’, and the article notes that ‘many companies have applied under pseudonyms to mask their commercial names’. It adds that DISH has agreed to bid the reserve price of USD1.56 billion in exchange for getting greater flexibility from the FCC to convert part of its 2GHz AWS-4 spectrum from uplink to downlink operations.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the auction represents the regulator’s first major spectrum sale since 2008. The bidding process, which has been designated as ‘Auction 96’, comprises frequencies in the 1915MHz-1920MHz (Lower H block) and 1995MHz-2000MHz (Upper H block) bands.