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5G Spectrum Auctions to Ramp in 2019

January 16, 2019 / David H Deans

The United States and Switzerland have made early moves to auction off 5G spectrum with many more countries set to follow. The U.S. is in the midst of auctioning millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28 GHz band, with combined bids exceeding $696 million by the end of Tuesday. Once this auction is completed it will be followed by an auction of spectrum in the 24 GHz band. Switzerland this month is also set to begin an auction of spectrum in the 700 MHz, 1.4 GHz, 2.6 GHz, and 3.5 GHz bands. Indeed, 2019 is set to be an important year for 5G spectrum allocations — and not just because of the many auctions that are planned. The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) is scheduled for October, and is expected to have a significant impact on the future availability and harmonization of radio spectrum resources for 5G. Among other aspects, it will consider spectrum for mobile broadband in frequencies between the 24.25 GHz and 86 GHz bands.