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AT&T and Dish big winners in latest 5G auction

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AT&T and satellite Television service provider Dish Network are the prime winners of airwaves after reserved for armed forces use that will before long be employed for 5G wireless service in the Federal Communications Commission’s latest auction, the company stated Friday

AT&T invested $9.1 billion and Dish put in $7.3 billion for licenses of wireless spectrum that sits involving the 2.5 gigahertz and 3.5GHz vary of frequencies on the radio spectrum. T-Cell was the third highest bidder in the auction, investing $2.9 billion. Verizon Communications did not take part in the auction. 

The so-termed midband spectrum that was auctioned off is considered crucial for cell operators’ deployment of following era of wi-fi support identified as 5G, which guarantees to produce significantly speedier wireless company and a far more responsive network. Its skill to join far more units and present authentic-time opinions is predicted to spark a sea modify in how we dwell and perform, ushering in new improvements like self-driving cars and advanced augmented actuality encounters.

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“Today’s 3.45 GHz auction results demonstrate that the Commission’s pivot to mid-band spectrum for 5G was the right move,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. 

Midband spectrum, which is in the , provides more-balanced coverage and capacity due to its ability to cover a several-mile radius with 5G, despite needing more cell sites than lower-tiered spectrum bands. 

This swath of spectrum has been used exclusively by the federal military, which used it for naval radar systems, missile control and air traffic control. In 2020, the Trump administration and the Department of Defense determined it could be shared with commercial providers for 5G service

The auction began in October 2021 under the Biden administration. The FCC said revenue from the auction topped $22.5 billion. Congress required a portion of the proceeds to be used to pay for new equipment. This will ensure that existing military equipment can coexist with cell towers and other equipment used by wireless carriers when they deploy 5G service. All other money from the auction will go to the US Treasury. 

Spectrum is king

Wireless carriers have been clamoring to open up more untapped or undertapped airwaves as demand for mobile services increases. The FCC has been working to repurpose swaths of spectrum from other industries, including satellite and TV broadcast, to free up space for new mobile phone technologies. The agency has also looked outside commercial entities for spectrum, coordinating efforts with government agencies, such as the Defense Department to provide commercial providers with more access to spectrum. 

As a result, the wireless industry has poured more than $100 billion into acquiring these airwave licenses in recent years. The FCC is planning for even more auctions in the future.

But as the spectrum is repurposed, there have been disputes over interference issues. Late last year, the Federal Aviation Administration raised concerns that the use of C-band spectrum, which had been auctioned off in 2020 would interfere with cockpit safety equipment in aircraft. The result was a stand-off between the FAA, aviation industry and wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon, which had planned to begin using the spectrum they had purchased to deploy 5G service. 

Earlier this month, AT&T and Verizon agreed to postpone the launch of their 5G services using C-band spectrum until Jan. 19.

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