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Three main MNOs win in US mmWave auctions but still lack midband assets

The FCC has announced the winners of the two millimeter wave auctions held so far this year, in 28 GHz and 24 GHz. Unsurprisingly, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile were the big gainers, but while this boost the capacity arsenal for all three, they all lack significant holdings in the far more attractive midrange bands, which are the main focus of early 5G roll-out in most other parts of the world. To compensate, Verizon is starting to make use of the 3.5 GHz CBRS spectrum, which is becoming available this year in a multi-tiered system of licensed and shared access. The midband airwaves support high capacity hotspot deployment without the challenges of mmWave – the latter spectrum needs complex beamforming to…

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