FCC announces 600MHz spectrum auction clearing target, bidding round schedule


It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news regarding the 600MHz spectrum auction, but today the FCC made a big announcement regarding the auction.

The FCC said today that it has set an initial spectrum clearing target of 126 MHz, adding that under the band plan associated with the spectrum clearing target 100 MHz (or 10 paired blocks) of licensed spectrum will be offered on a near-nationwide basis.

Here’s what FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had to say about the FCC’s announcement:

“Robust broadcaster participation is key to the success of the Incentive Auction. Today’s announcement reflects the voluntary decision by many broadcasters that this auction truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The 126 MHz initial clearing target ensures that wireless carriers and other forward auction bidders have their chance to compete for the maximum amount of low-band ‘beachfront’ spectrum. The wireless industry has said it needs additional spectrum to meet growing customer demand and usher in the age of 5G. The broadcasters have stepped up and done their part to fulfill that demand.

“I look forward to a robustly competitive auction and the vast economic and consumer benefits that await.”

The FCC also detailed the time and dates for its mock auction and for the reverse auction bidding rounds:

Mock auction

May 25

  • Round 1: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET
  • Round 2: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET

May 26

  • Round 3: 10:00 am – 11:00 am ET
  • Round 4: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
  • Round 5: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET

Bidding rounds

May 31

  • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm ET

June 1

  • 10:00 am – 2:00 pm ET

June 2 (and until further notice)

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET
  • 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET

Considering how long we’ve been hearing about this spectrum auction, it’s exciting to see that we’re finally nearing its start. T-Mobile will have billions to spend to get the spectrum that it wants, including some extra cash from Deutsche Telekom, so they’re going into the auction prepared. Only about one more month before the bidding actually gets underway!

Via: FierceWireless
Sources: FCC (1), (2)

Tags: , , ,

  • VN

    I’m not well informed about this issue. Is it true that T-Mobile and other small players can only bid for the 30Mhz that was put aside for them?

    And, which conpanies will bid for the 80+Mhz?

    • Michael Barnes

      No tmobile can bid on any spectrum they want larger carriers or company’s that own too much spectrum (att verizon) can’t bid on the reserve spectrum set aside for smaller carriers in that area

      No one knows who will bid on what and where or how much

      • VN


  • Fabian Cortez

    Good to know that up to 10 blocks will be available.

    Of course, T-Mobile is the only Tier 1 wireless carrier that will be protected from the duopoly via the reserve. They also face the other 100+ participants within the reserved space.

    Also, with the reserved rules being quite not too difficult to understand, T-Mobile can always reach into the larger unreserved spectrum bucket should the reserve consist of a single block.

    • maximus1901

      Not in every market. Like 2 or 3 where att or vzw each have no 850

  • Adam

    Will the strategy be buy as much as you can and then trade with other carriers to get
    contiguous blocks?

    • master94

      Probably. It’s what they did last time

  • Moe

    THe fact is that TMO does do false advertising. “Unused data rolls over” is what the tv ad says. No mention of minimum data requirements for unused data to roll over. So I assume that I’ve been cheated out of my roll over data for a long time. Pay for 2.5gb. Use 1.0gb lose 1.5gb every month. Anyone else experience this? Maybe TMO won’t have money to do this with all the law suits.

    • Rob

      Right from their site – “Data Stash™ is automatically included with your qualifying postpaid or prepaid Simple Choice plan when you purchase a 6GB or 10GB 4G LTE data plan, with no fees and no overage data charges, ever.”

      It’s not available on legacy plans and it isn’t available on the 2GB base plan.

    • Bryant

      Only your “paid” data rolls over and remains usable for 12 months. Your 2.5 GB is a free tier, therefore you did not pay for it. If you pay extra for more data, then you can roll it over.
      But to be honest, if you haven’t used your data yet, you probably won’t ever. My data stash is maxed out at 20 GB and I assume it’ll stay like that forever!

      • Bingo. Want rollover? Pay for it.

  • Cam Fas

    Is there a map that has carrier aggragated cities? Wondering what frequencies we have aggragated in Las Vegas for LTE I know we had the metro spectrum. Guessing we only use AWS for the download out here but I hear we are getting 3way aggragation in some cities this year and I’m wondering what areas.

    • Rob

      It goes on and off here in Denver and even then it usually only does CA with the 5MHz + 10MHz of split AWS spectrum we have here (it’s not contiguous), I’ve never seen it do AWS+B12 or B12+B2 or B4+B2. We have all three.

      • Cam Fas

        Maybe in the future when newer chipsets come along they may be able to bond more channels.

        • Rob

          The Exynos 7420 already supports all available T-Mobile combinations, T-Mobile just doesn’t have it turned on. At the very least, my phone should always be bonding the split 15MHz of B4 and its not doing that. My phone tells me what it’s doing when I punch in *#0011# and I check pretty constantly when I’m out and about and it’s always either on the 5MHz or 10MHz but it rarely adds the two and I’ve never seen 4 and 12.

    • Bryant

      Does anyone think it would be nice if our phones displayed “LTE-A” when we are connected to two or more band with CA? Or maybe even “LTE-2” or “LTE-3” to indicate the number of connections?

      • VN

        Yeah. Or instead of “4G LTE” it could say “LTE CA”.

      • Jay Holm

        I like the idea of LTE-2/LTE-3…

    • VN

      I was looking for such a map but no luck. Someone should ask John for one or post the idea at the forums and Reddit.

  • vinnyjr

    Exciting times in Mobile Technology. T-Mobile has put the pedal to the maximum effect. T-Mobile has to be the most exciting Carrier in the Country. Never been happier, service has never been better, signal has never been stronger and speeds keep getting faster. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere. Check out my Ookla Speedtest result. What’s your speed? http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/1904984796

    • VN

      You can’t say all that based solely on your personal unique individual current experience. My average speeds are 2 to 3Mbps, others are experiencing below 1Mbps speeds. Maybe you got CA over there.

      • Jay Holm

        Why do people think CA has ALREADY been deployed when an article was on Tmonews recently quoting the CTO saying middle of this year CA will be deployed? As in not yet…

        • Jason Caprio

          Carrier Aggregation has been deployed for a while in many areas. Service Mode on my Galaxy Note 5 shows my phone connected to Band 4 and Band 12 at the same time. See screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/BaZhJCt.png

        • Jay Holm

          Oh. Aren’t you special! I live in Houston, 4th biggest city, no CA.

        • VN

          The CTO was talking about 3-way Carrier Aggregation which I assume is B4+B2+B12. They are currently deploying, let’s say, regular CA… but very quietly and slowly it seems.

        • Jay Holm

          It sure would be nice to know something about Houston…do you know if some sort of software update will be required to enable 3-way CA on the S7?

        • VN

          I believe it doesn’t depend on software updates… either your phone has it or not. I don’t know about the S7.

        • Jay Holm

          The S7 is the newest flagship, it has tri-band CA.

        • VN

          Then you’re good, you just have to wait.

          One specific question, how do you know the S7 has that feature, tech specs or does the phone somehow shows it?

        • Jay Holm

          Tech specs, at this point in time I honestly don’t recall where I read it, I also know the modem is capable of 600mbps…when’ya wanna know something, you Google it,…so I did.

      • donnybee

        He’s saying the network has never been better. And yes he CAN express his excitement about his service where he lives.

        The network is getting larger, faster, and more complete every day. I agree that the network has never been better. You do what’s best for you but you look like a fool if you are paying for something by choice and have only complaints about it. Be a grown up and make better decisions for your needs.

        • VN

          I guess he can after all, just like you can assume my situation as you please. I’m still not free from the T-Moible “chains”, two months to go. Hopefully by that time there will be some improvements, I’d hate to switch to the Death Star. Boost is my other option. Nothing personal.

  • Chad Dalton

    This is exciting news, looking forward to the auction. Can someone tell me why; when i am pulling 68 megs down, that youtube videos still buffer on 720p/1080p?

    • VN

      I really hope you’re not kidding, the answer and reason could be Binge On, disable it.

      • Chad Dalton

        no, i’m not kiddin lol…really it did buffer…i will be disabling binge on