Two of the country’s largest wireless lobbying organizations have asked the FCC to consider auctioning off the 37, 39, and 42 GHz bands at the same time it auctions off the 24 GHz band. The agency believes the 24 GHz band is prime real estate for forthcoming 5G service, and it has a loose schedule for that auction. The CCA and CTIA point out that much of the work on 5G has concentrated on millimeter spectrum and thus it makes sense to auction these bands off together. The CTIA wants to see the auctions combined “to the extent that doing so would not cause substantial delay.” At issue is the pace at which new spectrum is made available for 5G service. Holding individual auctions for each band could hold some companies hostage to the process, slowing their deployments. The CCA said that if the FCC won’t combine all the millimeter bands into a single auction that it should at least consider auctioning off the 24 GHz and 47 GHz bands at the same time. For its part, the CTIA is worried about the Commission’s anti-collusion rules. It has asked the agency to remove such rules from any auction for 5G spectrum. It believes the rules could tangle up post-auction agreements between carriers. The FCC hasn’t responded publicly to the groups’ requests.
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