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Auction 97

Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-3)

DateAuction 97 began on
 and closed on
1,614 licenses total
Block A1: 176 Economic Area (EA) licenses
Block B1: 176 EA licenses
Block G: 734 Cellular Market Area (CMA) licenses
Block H: 176 EA licenses
Block I: 176 EA licenses
Block J: 176 EA licenses
1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands ("AWS-3" bands)
65 megahertz total
Block A1: 1695-1700 MHz (5 MHz)
Block B1: 1700-1710 MHz (10 MHz)
Block G: 1755-1760/2155-2160 MHz (10 MHz)
Block H: 1760-1765/2160-2165 MHz (10 MHz)
Block I: 1765-1770/2165-2170 MHz (10 MHz)
Block J: 1770-1780/2170-2180 MHz (20MHz)
Winning Bidders31
Qualified Bidders70
Licenses Won1611
Licenses Held By FCC3
Net Bids$41,329,673,325
Gross Bids$44,899,451,600
General information and associated licensing parameters are provided below. Public notices provide specific information regarding this auction. This fact sheet includes:

Key Dates

Auction Tutorial Available (via Internet)
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Window Opens
8/28/2014; 12:00 noon ET
Form 175 (Short Form) Application Filing Deadline
9/12/2014; 6:00 p.m. ET
Upfront Payments Deadline
10/15/2014; 6:00 p.m. ET
Mock Auction
Auction Start
Auction Closed

Licenses Offered

Auction 97 will offer 1,614 licenses on a geographic area basis; 880 will be Economic Area ("EA") licenses, and 734 will be Cellular Market Area (“CMA”) licenses. The AWS-3 frequencies will be licensed in five and ten megahertz blocks, with each license having a total bandwidth of five, ten, or twenty megahertz.
The 1695-1710 MHz band will be licensed in an unpaired configuration. The 1755-1780 MHz band will be licensed paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band.
Figure 1: 1695-1710 MHz Band Plan
Figure 2: 1755-1780 and 2155-2180 MHz Band Plans
Table 1: AWS – 3 License Summary
Block Frequencies (MHz) Total Bandwidth Pairing Geographic Area Type Number of Licenses
A11695-1700 MHz5 MHzUnpairedEA176
B11700-1710 MHz10 MHzUnpairedEA176
G1755-1760/2155-2160 MHz10 MHz2 x 5 MHzCMA734
H1760-1765/2160-2165 MHz10 MHz2 x 5 MHzEA176
I1765-1770/2165-2170 MHz10 MHz2 x 5 MHzEA176
J1770-1780/2170-2180 MHz20 MHz2 x 10 MHzEA176
For a complete list of licenses available in Auction 97, see Attachment A of the Auction 97 Procedures Public Notice, DA 14-1018, released July 23, 2014.
Incumbency Issues. The AWS-3 bands are currently being used by Federal and non-Federal incumbents for a variety of government and non-government services. AWS-3 licensees are subject to various requirements related these incumbent users, including Federal and non-Federal relocation, sharing, and cost-sharing obligations, coordination requirements, and protection of Federal and non-Federal incumbent operations. See the Auction 97 Procedures Public Notice, DA 14-1018; the AWS-3 Coordination Public Notice, DA 14-1023, released July 18, 2014; and the AWS-3 Report and Order, FCC 14-31, released March 31, 2014, for more detailed information. See also NTIA’s AWS-3 Transition website.
Reserve Price. There will be two aggregate reserve prices for the spectrum offered in Auction 97. The aggregate reserve price for the 1695-1710 MHz licenses is approximately $580 million, and the aggregate reserve price for the paired 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz licenses is approximately $10 billion. See the Auction 97 Procedures Public Notice, DA 14-1018, for more detailed information.

Permissible Operations

Spectrum in each AWS-3 band can be used to provide any fixed or mobile service that is consistent with the allocations for the band.
The 1695-1710 MHz band is authorized for low-power mobile transmit (i.e., uplink) operations only. The 1755-1780 MHz frequencies in the paired 1755-1780/2155-2180 MHz band are authorized only for low-power mobile transmit (i.e., uplink) operations; the 2155-2180 MHz frequencies are authorized only for base station and fixed (i.e., downlink) operations. Mobiles and portables in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands may only operate when under the control of a base station, and AWS-3 equipment is subject to a basic interoperability requirement. See the AWS-3 Report and Order, FCC 14-31, for more detailed information.

License Period and Construction Requirements

License Period. Initial licenses for AWS-3 spectrum will be granted for a twelve-year term, with subsequent renewal terms of ten years.
Construction Requirements. There are buildout requirements for the AWS-3 licenses offered in Auction 97. An AWS-3 licensee must provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least 40 percent of the population in each of its license areas within 6 years after license grant, and provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least 75 percent of the population in each of its license areas by the end of the initial twelve-year license term.
Partitioning and/or disaggregation of AWS-3 licenses is permitted.

Small Business Bidding Credits

Eligible applicants in Auction 97 may claim a small business bidding credit. 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 for the applicant, its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interest, as well as the average annual gross revenues of any entity with which the applicant has an attributable material relationship, as defined by the Commission’s rules.
The level of bidding credit for the Auction 97 is determined as follows:
Bidding credits are not cumulative. A qualifying applicant will receive either a 15 percent or a 25 percent bidding credit on its winning bids, but not both.

Tribal Lands 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.

Licensing Rules

47 C.F.R. Parts 1, 2, and 27

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