FCC Awards Over 2,300 600 MHz Licenses

The FCC granted more than 2,300 licenses in the 600 MHz band to wireless bidders; this is the broadcast television spectrum the carriers bid on in the incentive auction. We knew how much the carriers bid on the spectrum, a total of about $10 billion. What’s new, is how many licenses each bidder won and the markets those licenses are for.

T-Mobile was awarded the most licenses — 1,525 according to an Inside Towers examination of the lists. T-Mobile told the FCC it may start operations or conduct testing on the band using some of its licenses later this year.

Dish Network, which bid through ParkerB.com Wireless, came in second with 487 licenses. U.S. Cellular Corporation was next with 88 licenses and AT&T was awarded 23 licenses. Docomo Pacific received six for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and NEIT Services was awarded one license for Manchester, IA. Click here to read the 52 pages of licenses sorted by market.  

The FCC released the lists and said low-power television stations and TV translators on Channels 38-51 must end operations if they receive notice of likely interference from a wireless bidder that intends to start using that spectrum. Wireless winners must send those notices 120 days before starting 600 MHz operations.

The agency plans to open a special application window for displaced LPTV/translators in 2018. But it appears some of those stations may receive a notice from T-Mobile before then. Such stations may seek permission to operate on a temporary channel or share a channel with a station that has not received a notice from a wireless carrier.

June 15, 2017     

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