On August 25, 2020, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded Auction 105, during which it made available 22,631 priority access licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz (3.5 GHz) band. Each county contained 7 x 10 MHz blocks of spectrum, with each bidder permitted to purchase up to four blocks per county. In total, the auction grossed almost USD ($) 4.6 billion in bids and bidders won 20,625 licenses, or more than 91.1%, of the available licenses. This marked the greatest number of spectrum licenses made available in a single auction by the FCC, and as the first 5G mid-band auction in the United States, this represented a monumental step for the advancement of wireless communications services. While the long-term impacts of the auction will reveal themselves over the coming months and years, the results of the auction offer valuable data points regarding 3.5 GHz spectrum in the United States.
This document offers a high-level overview of and visualizes some of the key outcomes of the auction. While much may be extracted from the full dataset , which spans over 650,000 rows, this short reference document seeks to address two primary questions:
- how much did bidders pay for their licenses on a per-county and per-company basis, and
- where did the largest bidders purchase licenses?