Just 10MHz of spectrum will bring in a minimum of $1.56 billion to the FCC
The FCC announced Friday that in January 2014 it will be holding its first notable spectrum auction since 2008, opening up 10MHz of PCS H Block spectrum for purchase. The auction will begin with a minimum price of $1.56 billion for the 10MHz of spectrum, which is expected to have Sprint and Dish interested in a purchase because of their current holdings of adjacent spectrum.
Some are skeptical that releasing just 10MHz of spectrum in this auction will hurt the amount of potential bidders and therefore revenue for the FCC, citing that only one or two parties are interested in this spectrum. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is hoping that the FCC can reconsider holding off on the auction until a more sizeable chunk of spectrum, say 65MHz, was available to be auctioned off all at once.
Whether the FCC decides to hold off and add more spectrum to the auction or just go ahead with its initial plan of just selling off 10MHz, there's really no downside to getting more spectrum in the hands of wireless operators. It will be interesting to see how high the bidding goes in January considering the small amount on offer.