FCC to Hold Next 5G Mid-Band Spectrum Auction Beginning July 29

March 21, 2022 by Dan McCue
FCC to Hold Next 5G Mid-Band Spectrum Auction Beginning July 29
The emblem of the Federal Communications Commission.

WASHINGTON — Bidding will start in the next auction of 2.5 GHz band licenses for 5G wireless services beginning on July 29, the Federal Communications Commission announced Monday.

The ascending clock format auction will offer approximately 8,000 new flexible-use, county-based overlay licenses.

These licenses are in areas with an unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum — mostly rural parts of the country — following the disposition of applications filed in the Rural Tribal Priority Window, which has to date resulted in the grant of 335 licenses to serve tribal communities.

“Today we are readying the launch of the next 5G mid-band spectrum auction, following close on the heels of the recent, successful 3.45 GHz auction,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a written statement.


“The 2.5 GHz band auction can help deliver on the promise of 5G services and ensure that it reaches as many people as possible. The 2.5 GHz band spectrum provides an opportunity to fill in some of the critical 5G gaps in rural America. I look forward to the launch of this important auction,” she said.

In a public notice released today, the FCC adopted application and bidding procedures for an auction of new flexible-use geographic overlay licenses in the 2.5 GHz band (2496-2690 MHz).


The agency said its action follows substantial public comment on various process proposals under consideration and the commission’s adoption of its 2.5 GHz Band Report and Order.  

In establishing procedures for this first-of-its-kind overlay auction, FCC officials said the proceeding addressed numerous complex issues, from smoothly wrapping up the first-of-its-kind tribal priority window to questions involving the license inventory, given the unique history, widespread existing deployments in the band, and extensive secondary market arrangements. 

Additionally, in conjunction with the release of the auction procedure’s public notice, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Office of Economics and Analytics announced Monday the launch of an innovative mapping tool that can be used to help assess whether and to what extent there is unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum available in any county nationwide.  

The mapping tool, as well as instructions for its use, can be found under the Education tab on the Auction 108 website at www.fcc.gov/auction/108.


Overlay licenses must protect the operations of incumbent licensees within the auctioned areas, including any licensees that receive their licenses through applications filed in the Rural Tribal Priority Window, which closed in September 2020.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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