The C-Band Alliance (CBA) proposal to clear 200 MHz (inclusive of a 20 MHz guard band) of C-band spectrum within 18-36 months of a final FCC order remains the fastest, most efficient way to transition a substantial amount of mid-band spectrum to terrestrial 5G mobile service while providing uninterrupted service to existing customers.
Compared to the alternatives, the CBA’s market-driven proposal better internalizes the relevant costs and benefits, especially the benefits of expeditiously making spectrum available for 5G service.
In furtherance of this proposal, this letter sets forth, for consideration by the Commission and industry, additional details of a band plan that the CBA proposes for adoption to transition spectrum to terrestrial 5G operators as part of a voluntary market-based process. This proposed band plan supplements the details previously provided by the CBA on the spectrum clearing aspects of its proposal.
As further described in the attached slides, the CBA proposes to repurpose the 3.7-3.9 GHz spectrum through a private auction process based on a “9 x 20” band plan (plus a 20 MHz guard band). Pursuant to this plan, the repurposed C-band spectrum would be divided into nine license blocks, each 20 MHz in size, in each partial economic area (PEA) in the Continental United States that would be available for bidding by interested parties, followed by an FCC licensing process to obtain the specific spectrum blocks.
This approach would optimize the potential number of bidders in urban and rural areas, with nine blocks available in both large and small markets. From a potential bidder’s perspective, this structure is advantageous because it offers enhanced flexibility when deciding how and when to bid. A 9 x 20 band plan is also manageable from an auction process perspective—the blocks are neither so large as to discourage participation from bidders interested in smaller amounts of spectrum nor so small as to create frustration for bidders interested in aggregating larger amounts of spectrum.

The CBA has worked with customers, end-users, manufacturers, potential 5G spectrum users and others to flesh out the many complex technical, operational, and logistical issues related to clearing and transitioning 200 MHz of C-band spectrum from satellite service to terrestrial 5G. The proposed band plan—designed to be competition-friendly and to facilitate a transparent auction open to all—is further evidence of these efforts, and the CBA is pleased to submit it for the record. The CBA is continuing to solicit feedback from stakeholders and may adjust the proposed band plan as needed to
accommodate new information.
The CBA looks forward to continuing to work with the Commission and stakeholders to achieve the dual goals of rapidly repurposing spectrum for 5G in a transparent and efficient manner while fully protecting the existing programming distribution ecosystem that serves nearly 120 million U.S. households via C-band.

Source: FCC & CBA

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By Expat