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Auction 45

Cellular RSA

DateAuction 45 began on
 and closed on
Round 35 (See PN DA 02-1316)
LicensesRSA 332 - Polk, AR Block A
RSA 582 - Barnes, ND Block A
RSA 727 - Ceiba, PR Block A
SpectrumMobile: 824 - 835 MHz, 845 - 846.5 MHz
Base: 869 - 880 MHz, 890 - 891.5 MHz
Bandwidth25 MHz per license
Winning Bidders3 bidders won 3 licenses
Bidding Days5
Qualified Bidders7
Licenses Won3
Net Revenues
Net Bids$15,871,000.00
Gross Bids$15,871,000.00
General information and associated licensing parameters are provided below. Public Notices provide specific information regarding this auction. This fact sheet includes:

Key Dates

Pre-Auction Seminar
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
4/17/2002; 6:00 pm ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
5/6/2002; 6:00 pm ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

Auction No. 45 offered three cellular frequency block A licenses in each of the following RSA markets: 332-Polk, AR; 582-Barnes, ND; and 727-Ceiba, PR.

Permissible Operations

The cellular radio service is a mobile radiotelephone service in which common carriers are authorized to offer and provide a mobile telecommunications service for hire to the general public using cellular systems. A cellular radio system is an automated, high-capacity system of one or more multichannel base stations designed to provide radio telecommunications services to mobile stations over a wide area in a spectrally efficient manner. Cellular systems employ techniques such as low transmitting power and automatic hand-off between base stations of communications in progress to enable channels to be re-used at relatively short distances. Cellular systems may also employ digital techniques such as voice encoding and decoding, data compression, error correction, and time or code division multiple access in order to increase system capacity.

License Period & Construction Requirements

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 to the public and substantial compliance with applicable Commission rules, policies, and the Communications Act. (See 47 C.F.R. § 22.940(a)).
RSA licensees are given 5 years from the date of their initial grant to build out their cellular system within their RSA. After 5 years, any remaining area within the RSA not covered by the licensee is considered "unserved area", and can be applied for by other licensees. (See 47 C.F.R. §§ 22.946 and 22.947).

Bidding Credits

Bidding credits are available to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and very small businesses or consortia thereof, (as defined in 47 C.F.R. § 22.229). 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, its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests: Bidding credits are not cumulative; qualifying applicants receive either the 15 percent, 25 percent, or the 35 percent bidding credit, but not more than one of them.

Tribal Land Credits

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. § 1.2107 and 1.2110(f). 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(f).
Additional information on the tribal land bidding credit, including how the amount of the credit is calculated, can be found on the Commission's web site by going to Tribal Land Bidding Credits.


The Commission granted interim operating authority (IOA) to one or more cellular operators to provide cellular service on the Channel A block pending the ultimate permanent licensing of these RSAs. The interim operator must fully cooperate with the permanent licensee in effectuating a smooth transition of service in the market to the permanent licensee without disruption of service to the public. The IOA operator must cease operations in the market on the date of initiation of permanent service or within 30 days of written notification by the permanent licensee to the interim operator of the day and time that it intends to initiate service, whichever date occurs later. (See Cellular RSA Report and Order, FCC 02-9, pp 37-38, released January 28, 2002).

Licensing Rules

  1. A cellular RSA licensee that holds a controlling interest in a license operating on one cellular channel block, is limited on the amount of interest they may hold in a license for the other channel block in an overlapping cellular geographic service area (CGSA). (47 C.F.R. § 22.942).
  2. A cellular RSA licensee operating transmitters within 72 kilometers (45 miles) of the U.S. - Canadian border must coordinate with the adjacent Canadian licensee to eliminate any harmful interference. (See 47 C.F.R. § 22.955).
  3. Partitioning and/or disaggregation is permitted. (See 47 C.F.R. § 22.948).

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