Giant FCC spectrum auction raises $19.8 billion, sets up 5G services

A U.S. Federal Communications auction of repurposed television spectrum has raised US$19.8 billion and will pave the way for mobile carriers to offer faster and more reliable service across the country.

The 70MHz in new spectrum available will allow carriers to provide fast 5G service in coming years, FCC officials have said. It was the world’s first two-sided auction allowing TV stations to indirectly sell spectrum to mobile carriers and other users of wireless spectrum.

The auction should speed up networks that have slowed as U.S. residents move to “data-hungry smartphones,” the FCC said in a press release. About 70 percent of U.S. residents now have smartphones, the agency said.

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