CRA Insights

Why do 5G spectrum auctions take so long to complete?

June 9, 2021
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When auctioning off spectrum licenses, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) typically uses a multiple-round auction format, and multiple-round auctions often take a while to complete while providing price discovery and other benefits. There are a number of reasons why multiple-round spectrum auctions can take a while. After all, a sale of spectrum licenses worth billions of dollars to many different buyers cannot and should not be done hastily. But in this Insights as part of CRA’s ongoing series on the economics of 5G deployment in the “race” to 5G, Margarita Patria and Brad Miller explore how strategic bidder behavior can prolong a multiple-round spectrum auction.

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