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Auction 35

C and F Block Broadband PCS

DateAuction 35 began on
 and closed on
Round 76. (See PN DA 01-211)
Licenses312 10 MHz C block licenses
43 15 MHz C block licenses
67 10 MHz F block licenses
Spectrum15 MHz C block license suffix C1: 1902.5-1910, 1982.5-1990
15 MHz C block license suffix C2: 1895-1902.5, 1975-1982.5
10 MHz C block license suffix C3: 1895-1900,1975-1980
10 MHz C block license suffix C4: 1900-1905,1980-1985
10 MHz C block license suffix C5: 1905-1910, 1985-1990
10 MHz F block license suffix F: 1890–1895, 1970-1975
Winning Bidders35 bidders won 422 licenses
Bidding Days24
Qualified Bidders87
Licenses Won422
Net Revenues
Net Bids$16,857,046,150.00
Gross Bids$17,597,015,000.00
Auction No. 35 was the fourth auction of C block spectrum and the third auction of F block spectrum. Several revisions were made to service and auction rules, including reconfiguring the size of C block licenses, modifying auction eligibility restrictions for certain licenses, and retaining the spectrum cap (See Sixth Report and Order, released August 29, 2000). General information and associated licensing parameters are provided below. Public Notices provide specific information regarding this auction.

Key Dates

Pre-Auction Seminar
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
Upfront Payments Deadline
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

A total of 422 licenses covering 195 markets were offered. These licenses were for operation on frequencies for which licenses had automatically cancelled or had otherwise been returned to the Commission. However, each 30 MHz C Block license was reconfigured into three 10 MHz licenses, and all BTAs were divided into two categories: "Tier 1" (BTAs with populations greater than 2.5 million) and "Tier 2" (remaining BTAs). Some licenses were open to all bidders in "open" bidding, while other licenses were available only to entrepreneurs in "closed" bidding. Attachment A of Public Notice DA 00-2259, released October 5, 2000 provides a complete list of licenses available and the eligibility status of each license.

C & F Block Allocations

Channel Block Eligibility Status Bandwidth (MHz) Frequencies
Tier 1 Tier 2
C1[Open]Closed151902.5-1910, 1982.5-1990
C2[Open]Closed*151895-1902.5, 1975-1982.5
C3Closed*Closed*101895-1900, 1975-1980
C4OpenClosed*101900-1905, 1980-1985
C5OpenOpen101905-1910, 1985-1990
FOpenOpen101890-1895, 1970-1975
Note: Brackets indicate that no licenses of the particular tier/channel block combination were available in Auction No. 35.
*The entrepreneur eligibility restriction does not apply to licenses that were available but unsold in Auction No. 22. Tier 2 C2 licenses were classified as closed, but all of the C2 licenses available in Auction No. 35 were available but unsold in Auction No. 22 and were therefore open to all bidders. Certain C block licenses were also available but unsold in Auction No. 22 (as 30 MHz licenses), and the corresponding C3 and C4 licenses were therefore open to all bidders.

Permissible Operations

Broadband PCS encompasses a variety of mobile and/or portable radio services, using such devices as small, lightweight, multifunction portable phones, portable fax machines, and advanced devices with two-way data capabilities that are competing with existing cellular, paging, and other land mobile services.

License Period

Licenses are issued for a ten-year term from the initial license grant date. Licensees have a renewal expectancy based on the provision of substantial service and substantial compliance with applicable Commission rules, policies, and the Communications Act. (See 47 C.F.R. 24.16).

Eligibility for Closed Bidding

Certain C and F block licenses are only available to entrepreneurs in "closed" bidding. In order to qualify as an "entrepreneur," an applicant, including attributable investors and affiliates, must have had gross revenue of less than $125 million in each of the last two years and must have less than $500 million in total assets.
In addition, qualified applicants that were eligible for and participated in Auction No. 5 or 10 may bid on closed C block licenses in any auction that begins on or before March 23, 2001, even if their total assets and gross revenues exceed the financial caps for auction participation as an entrepreneur.

Small Business Bidding Credit Eligibility

Qualifying applicants in Auction No. 35 are eligible for a small or very small business on C and F block licenses won in "open" bidding. A bidding credit represents the amount by which a bidder’s winning bids are discounted. The size of the bidding credit depends on the average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years of the bidder, together with its affiliates and controlling interests of the bidder and its affiliates: Bidding credits are not cumulative. A qualifying applicant receives either the 15 percent or the 25 percent bidding credit, but not both. No small and very small business bidding credits are provided for licenses subject to closed bidding.

Tribal Land Bidding Credit

A winning bidder that intends to use its license(s) to deploy facilities and provide services to federally-recognized tribal lands that are unserved by any telecommunications carrier or that have a telephone service penetration rate equal to or below 70 percent is eligible to receive a tribal land bidding credit as set forth in 47 C.F.R. sections 1.2107 and 1.2110(e). A tribal land bidding credit is in addition to, and separate from, any other bidding credit for which a winning bidder may qualify.
Unlike other bidding credits that are requested prior to the auction, a winning bidder applies for the tribal land bidding credit after winning the auction when it files its long-form application (FCC Form 601). In order for a winning bidder to be awarded a tribal land bidding credit, it must provide specific certifications regarding the servicing of tribal lands and is subject to specific performance criteria as set forth in 47 C F R § 1.2110(e). For additional information on the tribal land bidding credit, including how to determine the amount of credit available, see Public Notice DA 00-2219, released September 28, 2000, entitled Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Availability of Bidding Credits For Providing Wireless Services To Qualifying Tribal Lands.


All licensees are required to coordinate their frequency usage with the co-channel or adjacent channel incumbent fixed microwave licensees in the 1850-1990 MHz band.

Licensing Rules

  1. Eligibility restriction modified for licenses designated as "open" to allow participation by on-entrepreneurs
  2. License cap eliminated
  3. Spectrum aggregation limit
  4. Incumbent microwave licensees present in the band
  5. Licensed by Basic Trading Areas (BTAs)
  6. Partitioning and/or disaggregation permitted

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