The FCC‘s auction (Auction 107) of C-band spectrum has reached $66.4 billion (€73.1bn) in its latest round after two weeks of bidding. This easily exceeds the former record of $45 billion raised during the AWS-3 auction held in 2015.
Some reports suggest that the enthusiasm for spectrum from bidders could see extra ‘incentive’ cash going to some of the satellite operators, notably SES and Intelsat. The FCC has already announced overall payments to the satellite operators who are relinquishing their bandwidth.
The extra payments could come especially if the satellite operators free up spectrum earlier than initially scheduled.
Forty-three rounds had taken place as at December 22nd. Two further rounds will take place on December 23rd and the bidding (Rounds 46-50) will resume on Monday January 4th 2021.
There are still a large number of unallocated PEAs (Partial Economic Area) segments, totalling 419, and where demand exceeds supply. Fifty-seven bidders are involved in the auction.
“The C-Band auction has pushed through almost everyone’s expectations,” stated financial analysts at New Street Research in a note to clients.
New Street had set a target of $51 billion for the auction and this was already dramatically ahead of $35.2 billion suggested by analysts at Morgan Stanley.