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This paper addresses two major trends that will shape the landscape for spectrum awards in the Americas over the next five years: the widespread adoption of new bandplans for the 700MHz band (the key low frequency band for LTE wireless broadband), and the increased use of package bid auction formats. The paper highlights some of the strengths and weaknesses of package bid auction formats, including the combinatorial clock auction (CCA), a format widely used in Europe and set to be used in Australia and Canada. It also explores the FCC proposal for a two-sided Incentive Auction to facilitate the transfer of 600MHz spectrum currently used by broadcasters to cellular operators.

The paper, authored by NERA Senior Vice Presidents Dr. Chantale LaCasse and Richard Marsden, was published to coincide with The 2nd Annual Americas Spectrum Management Conference, which took place in Washington DC on 23–24 October 2012. Dr. LaCasse presented a summary of the paper at the conference.