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Auction 56

24 GHz Service

DateAuction 56 began on
 and closed on
880 licenses to be offered: Five in each of 172 EAs and four EA-like areas
24.25-24.45 GHz and 25.05-25.25 GHz
400 megahertz: 80 megahertz (paired 40 megahertz segments) in each of five channels (Channel Numbers 35-39)
Winning Bidders3 Bidders won 7 licenses
Bidding Days1
Qualified Bidders3
Licenses Won7
Net Revenues
Net Bids$216,050.00
Gross Bids$306,000.00
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 Window Opens
5/25/2004; 12:00 noon ET
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
6/4/2004; 6:00 pm ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
6/29/2004; 6:00 pm ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

Auction No. 56 included 880 licenses in the 24.25-24.45 GHz and 25.05-25.25 GHz bands (five licenses in each of 172 Economic Areas ("EAs") and four EA-like areas: Guam and Northern Mariana Islands; Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; American Samoa; and the Gulf of Mexico). Each license consisted of one 80 megahertz block of paired spectrum. A complete list of licenses for Auction No. 56 and their descriptions is provided in Attachment A of Public Notice DA 04-633.
Channel Number Channel Description Frequencies Bandwidth
EA Licenses
35 Two paired 40 MHz frequency blocks24,250-24,290 / 25,050-25,090 MHz80 MHz
36 Two paired 40 MHz frequency blocks24,290-24,330 / 25,090-25,130 MHz 80 MHz
37 Two paired 40 MHz frequency blocks24,330-24,370 / 25,130-25,170 MHz 80 MHz
38 Two paired 40 MHz frequency blocks24,370-24,410 / 25,170-25,210 MHz 80 MHz
39 Two paired 40 MHz frequency blocks24,410-24,450 / 25,210-25,250 MHz 80 MHz
Total   400 MHz

Permissible Operations

The 24 GHz Radio Service can be used for any kind of digital fixed communications service consistent with the Commission’s rules. Services can be provided on a common carrier or non-common carrier basis.

License Period

24 GHz licenses are issued for a ten-year term from the date of license grant. 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. § 101.529). Licensees must demonstrate that they are providing substantial service when they file their renewal application.
In order to establish its right to a renewal, a licensee in the 24 GHz service involved in a renewal proceeding must submit a showing explaining why it should receive a renewal. Licensees must provide a description of how the licensee has complied with the "substantial service" requirement, and provide supporting documents showing compliance with the respective construction requirements as defined in 47 C.F.R. § 101.529(b).

Bidding Credits

Bidding credits were available to small businesses or consortia thereof, as defined in 47 C.F.R. § 101.538. 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 the 15 percent, the 25 percent or the 35 percent bidding credit on its winning bid(s), 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 24 GHz Service licensees (formerly Digital Electronic Message Service (DEMS) licensees when they were in the 18 GHz band) authorized to operate in Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas ("SMSAs") shall retain exclusive rights to their channel(s) within their SMSA and must be protected. See 47 C.F.R. § 101.509(c). 24 GHz service licensees must also protect neighboring licensees. New EA licensees are encouraged to develop sharing agreements with these incumbents and other new EA licensees along the boundaries of their areas. Potential bidders seeking licenses for EAs that border Canada or Mexico are subject to coordination arrangements with those respective countries. See 47 C.F.R. § 101.509(d). We note that should an incumbent lose its authority to operate, the incumbent’s authorization will revert to the relevant EA licensee without being subject to competitive bidding.


There is no limit to the amount of spectrum that a 24 GHz licensee may aggregate. See 47 C.F.R. § 101.535. Partitioning and disaggregation are permitted. Licenses may be partitioned according to the procedures in 47 C.F.R. §101.535(a)(2). Spectrum may be disaggregated in any amount. A licensee need not retain a minimum amount of spectrum. See 47 C.F.R. §101.535.

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