FCC wraps up its first 5G auction with nearly 3,000 licenses won

The auction raised more than $700 million in gross bids.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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The Federal Communications Commission has concluded bidding in its auction of spectrum for 5G , a next-generation wireless technology that promises super-fast speeds.

The  FCC , which opened up bidding for spectrum in the 28GHz band in November, said in a statement Thursday that the auction raised a total of more than $702 million in gross bids. A total of 2,965 28GHz licenses were won. 

The commission will next hold an auction of spectrum in the 24GHz band. It won't disclose the winning bidders for the 28GHz band until the second auction closes. 

"The successful conclusion of our nation's first high-band 5G spectrum auction is a significant step toward maintaining American leadership in 5G," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. "The FCC will continue to aggressively push more spectrum into the commercial marketplace."

5G, the next generation of cellular technology, promises to boost internet speeds, coverage and responsiveness for wireless networks. It'll enable functions such as streaming HD videos on your mobile network and accommodate more internet of things devices. 

Carriers have been locked in a race to move to 5G. Last year, Verizon started a limited 5G home broadband service and plans to begin mobile 5G service this year. AT&T's 5G network went live in select cities in December, though customers can only tap into the network using Wi-Fi hotspots.   

Auctions for 37GHz, 39GHz and 49GHz spectrum bands will be held later this year.