Once touted as the important thing constructing block of 5G networks, excessive band millimeter wave spectrum has taken a again seat to longer-distance low and mid band frequencies in most carriers’ early rollouts. But the FCC hasn’t had issues auctioning more and more giant millimeter wave blocks: Today, the Commission announced that it netted $4,474,530,303 in gross sales of higher 37GHz, 39GHz, and 47GHz spectrum for 5G use, along with $3,084,172,898 in incentive funds to hasten the removing of current licensees from the bands.

Touted as the most important public sale of spectrum (by amount) in U.S. historical past, Auction 103 successfully provides three further millimeter wave bands to beforehand auctioned 24GHz and 28GHz frequencies, giving carriers the power to supply exceptionally high-bandwidth wi-fi companies on a nationwide foundation. The 24GHz and 28GHz auctions raised $2.7 billion, led by prime bidders AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, with giant cable firms and smaller regional carriers collaborating to lesser extents.

Verizon led the latest bids, successful 4,940 licenses, adopted by AT&T (3,267 licenses), Dish Network (2,651) and T-Mobile (2,384). Collectively, the current auctions have opened almost 5GHz of further millimeter wave spectrum for 5G use, with the newest spherical including 3.4GHz in whole throughout three bands. FCC chairman Ajit Pai notes that the amount of auctioned spectrum now eclipses that “used for terrestrial mobile broadband by all wireless service providers in the United States combined.”

Spectrum has been described because the “mother’s milk of wireless technology,” with every new block of spectrum just like including one other set of tuning frequencies to a automotive radio’s dial. Since mobile gadgets can transmit and obtain information throughout a number of frequencies — suppose radio stations — directly, obtain and add speeds can get dramatically quicker if large blocks are made obtainable. U.S. carriers have made multi-billion-dollar bets on these newly obtainable millimeter wave frequencies as the following large pipes for wi-fi information transmission.

The FCC plans to begin bids later this 12 months in two separate mid band auctions, with a block of three.5GHz spectrum starting the method on June 25 and three.7GHz C-band spectrum on December 8. While the uncooked amount of spectrum being provided in these frequencies gained’t match the millimeter wave allocations, they’ll allow U.S. carriers to increase the mixed distance and velocity of their 5G networks and help in harmonizing with Asian and European 5G deployments which have targeted on related frequencies.

FCC’s largest spectrum auction nets $4.47 billion for 5G mmWave bands