FCC Grants Licenses to More 2.5 GHz Auction Winners, But T-Mobile Still Missing

The FCC this week granted licenses to several of the smaller winning bidders in the 2.5 GHz auction, which was completed in August. But the biggest winner in the auction – T-Mobile—still has not had its licenses granted.

This is the third announcement about licenses granted that the FCC has made in the auction, in which T-Mobile won more than 90% of the licenses. The previous announcements were in December and in January.

The FCC accepted T-Mobile’s long-form application for the auction in October.

An Attractive Spectrum Band

The 2.5 GHz band is considered mid-band spectrum, which is widely viewed as supporting the optimum mixture of coverage and speeds for 5G. T-Mobile already has licenses in the band covering a large part of the U.S.

The auction in August, known as Auction 108, only included licenses not already held by T-Mobile and others. Many of the available licenses were in rural areas.

Licenses in the 2.5 GHz band are for individual counties. Up to three blocks of spectrum – ranging in size from 17.5 MHz to 50 MHz — were available per county.

Seven winning bidders are on the list of licenses granted that was released this week. None of them received licenses for more than 12 counties and some received licenses for only one or two counties.

In comparison, T-Mobile won over 7,000 licenses in the auction. Only one other winner won more than 100.

Among the other nationwide providers, Verizon won only 12 licenses in the auction, while neither AT&T nor Dish won any.

The list of licenses granted this week and other information is available at this link.

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