Advanced Wireless Services in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz Bands
On January 29, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) completed an auction of Advanced Wireless Service licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands (collectively, the “AWS-3” bands). This auction, designated as Auction 97, raised in net bids a total of $41,329,673,325, with 31 bidders winning a total of 1,611 licenses. With the reallocation of the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands, most of the federal systems will relocate out of the bands. A limited number of federal systems will remain indefinitely in the bands, sharing with non-federal users (see U. S. Table of Frequency Allocations, Footnotes US88 and US91).
The Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act (CSEA), as amended, governs the transition planning process through which eligible federal agencies recover their relocation or sharing costs from a portion of the proceeds from the AWS-3 auction, which were transferred to the Spectrum Relocation Fund. On May 13, 2014, as required by the CSEA, NTIA notified the FCC of the initial estimated relocation and sharing costs and timelines for the 1695-1710 MHz and the 1755-1780 MHz bands. These estimates were based on the transition plans submitted by the eligible federal entities and available at the following links:
The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) determined the transfers were appropriate and that the resources protect key federal missions and capabilities while making additional spectrum available for commercial use, consistent with the President’s goals. On June 23, 2015, OMB notified Congress of the forthcoming transfer of $5,030,428,878 to federal agencies with systems affected by the AWS-3 transition. Following the conclusion of the 30-day statutory waiting period, OMB transferred the funds to the federal agencies.
In accordance with an FCC-NTIA Joint Public Notice – Coordination Procedures in the 1695–1710 MHz and 1755–1780 MHz Bands (GN Docket No. 13–185, DA 14–1023, released on July 18, 2014), the formal coordination process began on October 30, 2015.
Additional information from the FCC on the AWS-3 auction is available here.