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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



Yesterday the Commission's 220 MHz service auction, which began on September 15 1998, closed after 173 rounds raising $21,650,301 in net high bids. The 220 MHz auction represents the Commission's 17th auction.

"The Commission's flexible rules for the 220 MHz service will allow companies to provide whatever voice, data, or fixed communications services they believe will serve the needs of consumers in their area. This could include services such as dispatch or paging," said Chairman William Kennard. "This auction has been a prime example of what the Commission's auctions are all about. New and existing players have had a chance to quickly acquire licenses and take their place in the telecommunications marketplace of tomorrow."

Small businesses won a significant amount of the licenses sold at the auction. Companies claiming small business status won: 67% of the Regional Economic Area Group Licenses, 54% of the Economic Area Licenses and one of three Nationwide licenses. 25 licenses sold were claimed by entities claiming women-owned status and 21 licenses sold were won by those claiming minority-owned status.

908 licenses were simultaneously auctioned in 3 different-sized geographic areas. Of those licenses: 3 are nationwide licenses each authorized to use of 100 KHz paired of bandwidth; 30 are Regional Economic Area Group Licenses (5 licenses in each of the 6 Regional Economic Areas) each authorized to use of 155 KHz paired of bandwidth; and 875 Economic Area Licenses (5 licenses in each of the 175 Economic Areas) each license is authorized to use of 100 KHz paired of bandwidth. This auction represents Phase II of the licensing of this band. Phase I licensing was conducted by lotteries in 1992 and 1993. "We are very pleased that so many of the 220 licenses were won by small businesses," said Daniel Phythyon, Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. "The Commission continually works to afford opportunities for small businesses. Now its up to these license winners to develop innovative business plans and get services out into the hands of consumers."

Of the 908 licenses auctioned 693 were sold. A reauction of unsold licenses is likely take place in the 2nd quarter of 1999. Details of the 220 MHz reauction will appear in a future Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Public Notice.

220 MHz auction license winners must make the down payment on their licenses ten business days after the release of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's Public Notice announcing the close of the auction. Winning bidders must also file their long form applications with the FCC within the same time period.

-FCC -

News Media Contact: Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau contacts: Brett Tarnutzer at (202) 418-7142 (Auctions and Industry Analysis Division) or Scott Mackoul at (202) 418-7240 (Commercial Wireless Division)