FCC Chairman Ajit Pai this week announced his plan for auctioning off five specific swaths of millimeter-wave spectrum for 5G services. While industry leaders have been calling for one auction process, Pai is proposing three auctions between November and the end of 2019. The auction for the 28 GHz band would start November 14th, with the 24GHz auction to follow “immediately afterward”. A unified auction for the 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands would happen in the second half of 2019. The plan also calls for dividing up the 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands into uniform 100 MHz license blocks, so they can more easily be auctioned together. A “cleanup” of the 39 GHz band would precede the latter auction. The 39 GHz band is currently used for point-to-point microwave, including wireless backhaul for mobile networks. The plan will be voted on at the FCC’s August 2nd meeting.
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