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Auction 55

900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Service

DateAuction 55 began on
 and closed on
Round 76 See PN PN 04-578
Spectrum896 - 901 MHz and 935 - 940 MHz
BandwidthBlocks A thru T - 0.25 MHz each (paired 0.125 MHz segments)
Winning Bidders5 bidders won 55 licenses
Bidding Days10
Qualified Bidders17
Licenses Won55
Net Revenues
Net Bids$4,861,020.00
Total Revenues$4,866,000.00
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
12/15/2003; 12:00 noon ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
1/15/2004; 12:00 noon ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

Auction No. 55 included 55 Major Trading Area (MTA) licenses in the Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Service in the 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz bands. A complete list of licenses for Auction No. 55 and their descriptions is provided in Attachment A of Public Notice DA 03-3235. The MTAs are based on the Rand McNally 1992 Commercial Atlas & Marketing Guide, 123rd Edition.
Channel Block Channel Numbers Frequency* (MHz)
A 1-10896.00625 - 896.13125       935.00625 - 935.13125
B 21-30896.25625 - 896.38125       935.25625 - 935.38125
C 41-50896.50625 - 896.63125       935.50625 - 935.63125
D 61-70896.75625 - 896.88125       935.75625 - 935.88125
E 81-90897.00625 - 897.13125       936.00625 - 936.13125
F 101-110897.25625 - 897.38125       936.25625 - 936.38125
G 121-130897.50625 - 897.63125       936.50625 - 936.63125
H 141-150897.75625 - 897.88125       936.75625 - 936.88125
I 161-170898.00625 - 898.13125       937.00625 - 937.13125
J 181-190898.25625 - 898.38125       937.25625 - 937.38125
K 201-210898.50625 - 898.63125       937.50625 - 937.63125
L 221-230898.75625 - 898.88125       937.75625 - 937.88125
M 241-250899.00625 - 899.13125       938.00625 - 938.13125
N 261-270899.25625 - 899.38125       938.25625 - 938.38125
O 281-290899.50625 - 899.63125       938.50625 - 938.63125
P 301-310899.75625 - 899.88125       938.75625 - 938.88125
Q 321-330900.00625 - 900.13125       939.00625 - 939.13125
R 341-350900.25625 - 900.38125       939.25625 - 939.38125
S 361-370900.50625 - 900.63125       939.50625 - 939.63125
T 381-390900.75625 - 900.88125       939.75625 - 939.88125
* For channel center frequencies, see 47 CFR § 90.613.
The channel block/frequency cross-reference table is available in the following files: Word, pdf
Note: For Auction No. 55, licenses are not available in every market or for each channel block listed in the table. In one case, a license is available for only part of a market. See Attachment A of Public Notice DA 03-3235 to determine which licenses will be offered.

Permissible Operations

Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Services are used primarily for voice communications. Systems are also being developed for data and facsimile services. Additionally, the development of digital SMR technology is allowing new features and services such as two-way acknowledgement paging & inventory tracking, credit and authorization, automatic vehicle location, fleet management, remote database access, and voice mail.

License Period

Licenses are issued for a term not to exceed ten years.
Build Out Requirements: 1/3 of service area population in 3 years; 2/3 of service area population in 5 years. Alternatively, at the five year mark, submit a showing of "substantial service." See 47 C.F.R. § 90.665(c).

Bidding Credits

Bidding credits are available to small businesses or consortia thereof, as defined in 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.810 and 90.814. A bidding credit is a payment discount on a winning bid determined at the conclusion of the bidding process. 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: Small business bidding credits are not cumulative. A qualifying applicant receives either the 10 percent or the 15 percent bidding credit on its winning bid, but only one credit per license.

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(e) 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. A winning bidder need not qualify for a small business bidding credit to be eligible for a tribal lands bidding credit.
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 Credits.


Incumbent SMR systems in the 900 MHz MTA blocks are entitled to co-channel protection by MTA licensees. Among other licensing and technical rules, MTA licensees will be required to afford interference protection to incumbent SMR systems, on a fixed separation basis as provided in Section 90.621. Secondary sites for which applications were filed on or before August 9, 1994, are also afforded complete co-channel protection.
Incumbents may modify or add sites so long as they do not exceed their existing 40 dBu signal strength contour. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.667(a). In fact, incumbent systems are not allowed to expand beyond existing service areas unless they obtain the MTA license for the relevant channels.
Potential bidders seeking licenses for MTAs that border Canada or Mexico are subject to coordination arrangements with those respective countries. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.619.

Licensing Rules

  1. Applicants may aggregate 900 MHz SMR spectrum. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.804.
  2. Incumbent licensees are present in the band.
  3. Partitioning and/or disaggregation are permitted.

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