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Time to Gear Up for Auction 103 (Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands)

Time to Gear Up for Auction 103 (Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands)

July 23, 2019

The FCC dropped a Public Notice establishing application and bidding procedures for Auction 103—the next in a series of millimeter wave spectrum auctions by the Commission as part of its Spectrum Frontiers proceeding.  Auction 103, scheduled to begin December 10, 2019, features UMFUS licenses in the 37.6-38.6 GHz (Upper 37 GHz), 38.6-40 GHz (39 GHz), and 47.2-48.2 GHz (47 GHz) bands.

Auction 103 is the FCC’s third millimeter wave spectrum auction.  The agency auctioned spectrum in the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands (Auctions 101 and 102, respectively) earlier this year.  Auction 101 generated $702.5 million in gross bids for 2,965 licenses, and Auction 102 over $2 billion for 2,904 licenses.    

In Auction 103, the Commission will offer 3,400 megahertz of spectrum in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.  Each UMFUS license will authorize operations in a 100-megahertz block of spectrum licensed by PEA service area, and the FCC will auction up to 34 licenses in each PEA.  The final number of licenses available at auction will depend on incumbent licensees in the 39 GHz band, which had to decide by July 15 whether to accept modified licenses to conform to the new band plan or surrender their licenses in exchange for a portion of auction proceeds and the opportunity to bid on new licenses in Auction 103. 

A summary of the Public Notice, including auction specifics and application procedures, is available here.  Potential applicants should be aware of the following dates and deadlines:

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As with prior auctions, Wiley Rein will follow Auction 103 closely.  If you have questions about Auction 103 or would like to receive regular updates as the auction progresses, just let Ari Meltzer, Rick Engelman, or me know.   

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