C-Band Auction Officially Underway

C-band satellite
(Image credit: Getty Images)

WASHINGTON—At 10 a.m. ET today, Dec. 8, bidding for the C-band spectrum auction officially opened, the FCC has announced. The commission says that this is its largest mid-band 5G spectrum auction to date.

The C-band auction will make available 280 MHz of spectrum in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band for the purpose of 5G development. There are 5,684 new flexible-use overlay licenses based on Partial Economic Areas available through the auction.

The previous occupants of the C-band, which consists mostly of satellite operators, are entirely clearing the 3.7-4.0 GHz band—20 MHz are being left clear as a buffer—and relocating to the upper 200 MHz of the C-band (4.0-4.2 GHz). The first phase of the transition, which will clear 120 MHz from 3.7-3.82 GHz part of the band, will conclude on Dec. 5, 2021. The second phase, clearing the remaining spectrum, is scheduled to conclude by Dec. 5, 2023.

“This is a big day for American consumers and U.S. leadership in 5G,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “By freeing up this wide swath of critical mid-band spectrum, the FCC is paving the way for Americans to receive fast 5G wireless services. Together with the recent success of our 3.5 GHz band auction, our work to auction the 2.5 GHz and 3.45 GHz bands in 2021 and the other ground-breaking spectrum auctions we’ve held since 2017, our 5G FAST Plan is in full swing. American consumers and businesses will benefit from this FCC’s efforts for year’s to come.”

For more information on the C-band auction and transition, visit TVT’s C-band page