Federated Wireless CEO Reflects on PAL Auction

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Iyad Tarazi, President, CEO, and co-founder of Federated Wireless, recently contemplated the results of one of the largest and most ambitious spectrum auctions in U.S. history. After 76 rounds, with participation from 271 bidders, the proceeds from the PAL auction amounted to over $4.5 Billion.

Tarazi highlighted what he saw as the key indicators represented by the process, noting the wide participation across market segments that don’t normally participate in spectrum auctions, including cable, WISP, energy and enterprise. 

“It is an absolute validation of the shared spectrum model and its capacity to create a vibrant expanded wireless market,” he said in a recent blog.

Garnering nearly $4.6B in proceeds for 70 MHz of spectrum, which is slightly above ~$0.20/MHz-pop, Tarazi said this demonstrates market confidence that the sharing technology embodied in the SAS/ESC will allow for full use of the spectrum. 

“It’s important to note that this outcome is in line with global pricing for this band,” he said. “The bidding across geographies, resulting in 91 percent of 22,631 available licenses sold, confirms that the county-based approach worked in supporting multiple users in different geographies. It wasn’t too complicated. Money was not left on the table. Importantly, any licenses that weren’t purchased can still foster economic growth through sharing under General Authorized Access.”

Tarazi said this lays the groundwork for a robust secondary license market. PAL holders who don’t immediately need all the capacity they purchased can use the same dynamic SAS technology that manages the spectrum to securely lease their licenses to other users – a further demonstration of the efficiency offered through spectrum sharing technology.

“I’m thrilled with the outcome,” Tarazi said. “This is the single largest economic validation of the shared spectrum market opportunity to date. With GAA deployments growing exponentially each week, we look forward to adding PAL management, including license leasing, to our service.”

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