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Auction 71

Broadband PCS

DateAuction 71 began on
 and closed on
(See Public Notice DA 07-30)
3 A block MTA licenses (includes partial markets)
26 C block BTA licenses
1 D block BTA license
2 E block BTA licenses
6 F block BTA licenses
38 Total licenses
Block A, 30 MHz: 1850-1865, 1930-1945 MHz
Block C1, 15 MHz: 1902.5-1910, 1982.5-1990 MHz
Block C2, 15 MHz: 1895-1902.5, 1975-1982.5 MHz
Block C3, 10 MHz: 1895-1900,1975-1980 MHz
Block C4, 10 MHz: 1900-1905,1980-1985 MHz
Block C5, 10 MHz: 1905-1910, 1985-1990 MHz
Block D, 10 MHz: 1865-1870, 1945-1950 MHz
Block E, 10 MHz: 1885-1890, 1965-1970 MHz
Block F, 10 MHz: 1890-1895, 1970-1975 MHz
Winning Bidders12
Qualified Bidders23
Licenses Won33
Licenses Held By FCC5
Net Bids$13,932,150
Gross Bids$14,562,000
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
3/7/2007; 12:00 noon ET
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
3/16/2007; 6:00 pm ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
4/20/2007; 6:00 pm ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered and Bidding Eligibility

Auction No. 71 will include a total of 38 licenses for A, C, D, E, and F blocks of broadband PCS spectrum. The A block licenses cover Major Trading Areas (MTAs), including two licenses covering partial markets, and the C, D, E, and F block licenses cover Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). The spectrum to be auctioned has been offered previously in other auctions but was unsold and/or returned to the Commission as a result of license cancellation or termination. The following table cross-references the general rules regarding block/eligibility status/frequencies of broadband PCS licenses in these blocks. Shaded boxes indicate that no license of the particular tier/frequency block combination will be available in Auction No. 71. For a complete list of the licenses available in Auction No. 71 and the eligibility status of each license, see Attachment A of Public Notice DA 07-30, released January 16, 2007.
Frequency Block Eligibility Status Bandwidth Frequency
Tier 1 Tier 2
A n/a n/a 30 MHz 1850-1865, 1930-1945 MHz
C1 Open Closed* 15 MHz 1902.5-1910, 1982.5-1990 MHz
C2 Open Closed* 15 MHz 1895-1902.5, 1975-1982.5 MHz
C3 Closed Closed* 10 MHz 1895-1900, 1975-1980 MHz
C4 Open Closed* 10 MHz 1900-1905, 1980-1985 MHz
C5 Open Open 10 MHz 1905-1910, 1985-1990 MHz
D n/a n/a 10 MHz 1865-1870, 1945-1950 MHz
E n/a n/a 10 MHz 1885-1890, 1965-1970 MHz
F Open Open 10 MHz 1890-1895, 1970-1975 MHz
As indicated in the table, C and F block licenses are divided into two tiers according to the population size, with Tier 1 comprising Basic Trading Areas (BTAs) with population at or above 2.5 million and Tier 2 comprising the remaining BTAs. No Tier 1 licenses will be offered in Auction No. 71. C1, C2, C3, and C4 licenses in Tier 2 (marked with “*” in the above table) are generally available only to “entrepreneurs” in “closed” bidding. This eligibility restriction no longer applies, however, to licenses that have been made available on that basis, but not won, in any auction beginning on or after March 23, 1999. Thus, certain licenses that were formerly subject to “closed” bidding and available only to “entrepreneurs” are now offered in “open” bidding in Auction No. 71.

Permissible Operations

PCS licensees may provide any mobile communications service on their assigned spectrum, consistent with technical requirements set forth in the Commission’s rules. For example, Broadband PCS spectrum may be used for 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. Fixed services may be provided on a co-primary basis with mobile operations. Broadcasting as defined in the Communications Act is prohibited. See 47 C.F.R. § 24.3.

License Period

Licenses will be 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 block licenses will only be available to “entrepreneurs” in “closed” bidding. In order to qualify as an “entrepreneur,” an applicant, together with its affiliates and persons or entities that hold interests in the applicant and their affiliates, must have had gross revenues of less than $125 million in each of the last two years and must have less than $500 million in total assets.

Small Business Bidding Credit Eligibility for Open Bidding

Qualifying applicants in Auction No. 71 are eligible for a small or very small business bidding credit 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 applicant, its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interest:
  1. A bidder with attributable average annual gross revenues of not more than $40 million for the preceding three years (“small business”) receives a 15 percent discount on its winning bids for certain C and F block licenses won in open bidding;
  2. A bidder with attributable average annual gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three years (“very small business”) receives a 25 percent discount on its winning bids for certain C and F block licenses won in open bidding.
  3. Bidding credits are not cumulative. Qualifying applicants receive either the 15 percent or the 25 percent bidding credit on its winning bid, but only one credit per license. Bidding credits are not provided for licenses subject to closed bidding or for A, D, and E block licenses.

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 wireline penetration rate equal to or below 85 percent is eligible to receive a tribal lands bidding credit as set forth in 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.2107(e) and 1.2110(f). A tribal lands 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 lands 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 lands 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 lands bidding credit, including how the amount of the credit is calculated, can be found on the Commission’s auction web site at http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions and clicking on the Tribal Land Credits link.


While much of the private and common carrier fixed microwave services (“FMS”) operating in the 1850-1990 MHz band (and other bands) have been relocated to available frequencies in higher bands or to other media, some FMS licenses may still be operating in the band. Applicants should become familiar with the status of FMS operation and relocation, and applicable Commission rules and orders.

Licensing Rules

See 47 C.F.R. Part 24

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