Fact Sheet

Date

Auction 103 bidding is scheduled to begin on 12/10/2019

Licenses

14,144 licenses

Upper 37 GHz band: 10 blocks (Blocks M1–M10) in each PEA:  4,160 licenses

39 GHz band: 14 blocks (Blocks N1–N14) in each PEA:  5,824 licenses

47.2 – 48.2 GHz band: 10 blocks (Blocks P1–P10) in each PEA: 4,160 licenses

Spectrum

Upper 37 GHz band: 37.6 – 38.6 GHz
39 GHz band: 38.6 – 40 GHz
47 GHz band: 47.2 – 48.2 GHz

Bandwidth

Upper 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands: 2,400 megahertz licensed as 24 100-megahertz blocks

47 GHz band: 1,000 megahertz licensed as ten 100-megahertz blocks

 

General information and associated licensing parameters are provided below.  Public notices provide specific information regarding this auction.  This fact sheet includes:

 

 

Key Dates

Event

Date

Auction Application Tutorial available

8/2/2019

Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Window opens

8/26/2019; 12:00 pm Eastern Time (ET)

Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175) Filing Deadline

9/9/2019; 6:00 pm ET

Upfront Payment Deadline

10/22/2019; 6:00 pm ET

Auction Bidding Tutorial available no later than

11/19/2019

Mock Auction

Week of 12/2/2019

Auction Bidding Start

12/10/2019

 

Licenses Offered

Auction 103 will offer 14,144 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands, and the licenses will be based on Partial Economic Areas (PEAs). Category M/N consists of blocks in 37.6 – 40 GHz, including 10 blocks (Blocks M1–M10) in the Upper 37 GHz band and 14 blocks (Blocks N1–N14) in the 39 GHz band; and Category P consists of 10 blocks (Blocks P1–P10) in 47.2 – 48.2 GHz, the 47 GHz band.

 

Permissible Operations

The Commission authorized both fixed and mobile operations in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands.  A licensee in the Upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz and 47 GHz bands may provide any services permitted under a fixed or mobile allocation, as set forth in the non-Federal Government column of the Table of Frequency Allocations in Section 2.106 of the Commission’s rules. 

 

License Period and Construction Requirements

License Period

Initial authorizations will have a term not to exceed 10 years from the date of initial issuance or renewal.  (See 47 CFR § 30.103)

Construction Requirements

Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licensees must make a buildout showing as part of their renewal applications.  Licensees relying on mobile or point-to-multipoint service must show that they are providing reliable signal coverage and service to at least 40% of the population within the service area of the licensee, and that they are using facilities to provide service in that area either to customers or for internal use.  Licensees relying on point-to-point service must demonstrate that they have four links operating and providing service, either to customers or for internal use, if the population within the license area is equal to or less than 268,000.  If the population within the license area is greater than 268,000, a licensee relying on point-to-point service must demonstrate that it has at least one link in operation and is providing service for each 67,000 population within the license area.  In order to be eligible to be counted under the point-to-point buildout standard, a point-to-point link must operate with a transmit power greater than +43 dBm.

In the alternative, a licensee may make its buildout showing on the basis of geographic area coverage. To satisfy the requirements of using this metric, licensees relying on mobile or point-to-multipoint service must show that they are providing reliable signal coverage and service to at least 25% of the geographic area of the license.  The geographic area of the license shall be determined by the total land area of the county or counties covered by the license.  Licensees relying on fixed point-to-point links or other, low-power point-to-point connections must show that they have deployed at least one transmitter or receiver in at least 25% of the census tracts within the license area.  All equipment relied upon in the showing, whatever type of service or connection it provides, must be operational and providing service, either to customers or for internal use, as of the date of the filing.

If a licensee in this service is also a Fixed-Satellite Service licensee and uses the spectrum covered under its UMFUS license in connection with a satellite earth station, it can demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this section by demonstrating that the earth station in question is in service, operational, and using the spectrum associated with the license.  This provision can only be used to demonstrate compliance for the county in which the earth station is located.

Licensees may fulfill their performance requirement by showing that they meet their choice of any one of the above standards, or a combination thereof, but they may not combine population-based showings with geographic area-based showings.  Showings that rely on a combination of multiple types of service will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Licensees must make their showing by the end of their initial license terms in these bands – there is no interim benchmark.

Failure to meet this requirement will result in automatic cancellation of the license.  In bands licensed on a Partial Economic Area basis, licensees will have the option of partitioning a license on a county basis in order to reduce the population within the license area to a level where the licensee’s buildout would meet one of the applicable performance metrics.

(See 47 CFR § 30.104)

 

Bidding Credits

Bidding credit discounts will be available to those applicants that demonstrate that they are eligible small businesses or rural service providers and win one or more license at auction.  A 39 GHz incumbent may receive a bidding credit discount only on winning bid amounts that exceed any incentive payment to that incumbent.

An applicant may claim either a small business bidding credit or a rural service provider bidding credit, but not both.  Each applicant must also certify that it is eligible for the claimed bidding credit in its FCC Form 175.  Each applicant should review carefully the Commission’s decisions regarding the designated entity provisions as well as the Part 1 rules. 

 

Small Business Bidding Credits

Bidding credits will be available to eligible small businesses and consortia thereof, subject to the caps discussed below.  Under the service rules applicable to the UMFUS licenses to be offered in Auction 103, the level of bidding credit available is determined as follows: 

A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $55 million for the preceding three years is eligible to receive a 15% discount on its winning bid.

A bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not exceed $20 million for the preceding three years is eligible to receive a 25% discount on its winning bid.

Small business bidding credits are not cumulative; an eligible applicant may receive either the 15% or the 25% bidding credit discount on its winning bid, but not both.  The Commission’s unjust enrichment provisions apply to a winning bidder that uses a bidding credit and subsequently seeks to assign or transfer control of its license within a certain period to an entity not qualifying for the same level of small business bidding credit.

 

Rural Service Provider Bidding Credit

An applicant that is eligible for a rural service provider bidding credit will receive a 15% discount on its winning bid(s), subject to the $10 million cap discussed below.  To be eligible, an applicant must:  (1) be a service provider that is in the business of providing commercial communications services and, together with its controlling interests, affiliates, and the affiliates of its controlling interests, has fewer than 250,000 combined wireless, wireline, broadband, and cable subscribers; and (2) serve predominantly rural areas, defined as counties with a population density of 100 or fewer persons per square mile.  These eligibility requirements must be satisfied by the FCC Form 175 filing deadline.     

Each applicant seeking a rural service provider bidding credit must disclose in its FCC Form 175 the number of subscribers it has, along with the number of subscribers of its affiliates, controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests.  An applicant may count any subscriber as a single subscriber even if that subscriber receives more than one service.  An applicant must also submit an attachment that lists all parties with which the applicant has entered into any spectrum use agreements or arrangements for any licenses that be may won by the applicant in Auction 103.  In addition, to the extent that an applicant has an agreement with any disclosable interest holder for the use of more than 25% of the spectrum capacity of any license that may be won in Auction 103, the identity and the attributable subscribers of any such disclosable interest holder must be disclosed.  Like applicants seeking eligibility for small business bidding credits, eligible rural service providers may also form a consortium.  If an applicant is applying as a consortium of rural service providers, the disclosures described in this paragraph must be provided for each consortium member. 

 

Caps on Bidding Credit Discounts

Applicants eligible for bidding credit discounts will be subject to caps on the total amount of discounts they may receive.  Specifically, an eligible small business is subject to a $25 million cap, and an eligible rural service provider is subject to a $10 million cap.  In addition, no eligible small business will be able to obtain more than $10 million in bidding credit discounts in total for licenses won in markets with a population of 500,000 or less (PEAs 118–416, excluding PEA 412).

 

Tribal Lands Bidding Credit

A winning bidder that intends to use its license(s) to deploy facilities and provide services to federally recognized tribal lands that are unserved by any telecommunications carrier or that have a wireline penetration rate equal to or below 85% is eligible to receive a tribal lands bidding credit as set forth in sections 1.2107 and 1.2110(f) of the Commission’s rules.  A tribal lands bidding credit is in addition to, and separate from, any other bidding credit for which a winning bidder may qualify.

 

Licensing Rules

47 CFR Parts 1, 2, 25, 30, and 101