The FCC periodically auctions slices of the electromagnetic spectrum to private companies for commercial use. In trying to gain economic advantage, large MVNOs generally bid aggressively to hold as much of the spectrum as possible.
By auctioning the spectrum, the FCC gains maximum revenue and transitions the public resource to private management based on free-market principles.
Companies seeking to participate in an FCC spectrum auction need to assess spectrum needs, business objectives, and strategies.
Some frequencies have military and industrial applications, some bands are focused on under-sea or under-ground transmission, and many are favorable to traditional commercial use such as wireless communications, television and radio broadcasting, and others.
MVNOs, telephone cooperatives, television stations, paging companies, private equity firms, inventors/patent holders, real estate firms, and many others compete in the spectrum auction process.
Recent FCC auctions were intended to allocate mid-band spectrum previously used by satellite operators to MVNOs for 5G use.
To be successful in a bid, companies should prepare for auction by creating a strategy for success with the support of experienced counsel to understand the spectrum need, the auction design, and the rules.
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