The FCC is launching its first significant auction of wireless spectrum in six years Wednesday, with the auction of the 1900 MHz PCS H Block, in a sparsely populated sale in which Dish Network is the lead bidder for the airwaves.
The commission has said 23 bidders have qualified to submit bids for the spectrum block. Dish has agreed to bid the reserve price of $1.56 billion in exchange for getting greater flexibility from the FCC to convert part of its 2 GHz AWS-4 spectrum from uplink to downlink operations. Dish has applied as "American H Block Wireless LLC" and many companies have applied under pseudonyms to mask their commercial names.
The H Block is a 10 MHz block of paired airwaves that runs from 1915-1920 MHz (for the uplink) and from 1995-2000 MHz (for the downlink). Dish controls spectrum adjacent to a portion of the H Block, called AWS-4; Dish's 40 MHz of AWS-4 spectrum specifically runs from 2000-2020 MHz (for the uplink) and 2180-2200 MHz (for the downlink). However, Dish asked the FCC to let it use the 2000-2020 MHz band for downlink operations instead of uplink. Read the full article