Originally published in Communications Daily on January 18, 2017.
FCC re-establishment of bidding credit policies ‘helped to push AWS-3 auction prices to record highs, which would tend to reduce the amount of capital the largest providers have to commit to the incentive auction,’ said Fred Campbell, director of Tech Knowledge. Campbell ran the 00 MHz auction as chief of the Wireless Bureau. Campbell said FCC adoption of a set-aside for competitors, under which the largest carriers ‘are likely to receive the least valuable blocks,’ also didn’t help. ‘Ironically, these decisions were driven by the FCC’s unsubstantiated assumption that lower frequency spectrum is substantially more valuable than higher frequency spectrum, an assumption that appears quaint given the wireless industry’s interest in using higher frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G technologies,’ Campbell said.”