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Despite two auctions, US MNOs still have a long wait for midband 5G

The US operators remain desperately short of the midband spectrum which is the key engine of 5G roll-out for just about all their counterparts outside North America. During this year, there will be two auctions that will start to address the shortage, though that still leaves them with over a year to extend 5G services without access to midrange airwaves (with the exception of T-Mobile USA, once its acquisition of Sprint, and its 2.5 GHz spectrum, is finalized, probably around April). The first midband auction will be of the priority access licences (PALs) in the 3.5 GHz (3550-3700 MHz) CBRS band. These are not ideal at all from MNOs’ point of view because they are local and short term compared…

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