The Federal Communicatins Commission\u2019s auction of priority access licenses (PAL) on Citizen\u2019s Broadband Radio Service \u00a0(CBRS) spectrum came to an end this week, raising more than $4.58 billion from bandwidth that could be used to support 5G wireless.\n\n5G resources\n\nWhat is 5G? Fast wireless technology for enterprises and phones\nHow 5G frequency affects range and speed\nPrivate 5G can solve some problems that Wi-Fi can\u2019t\nPrivate 5G keeps Whirlpool driverless vehicles rolling\n5G can make for cost-effective private backhaul\nCBRS can bring private 5G to enterprises\n\n\nThe 271 qualified bidders chased 22,631 individual licenses \u2013 seven for each county in the U.S., each license representing a 10MHz-wide piece of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band.\nOf the 20,625 licenses that were eventually auctioned off, the most expensive were those covering urban cores. The priciest pieces of the airwaves were those in Los Angeles County, clocking in at more than $52 million each, with Chicago-area Cook County in second place at nearly $40 million per license. Other southern California population centers drew large bids, with Orange County and San Diego bringing in $27 million and $21 million, respectively, for each license.\n\u201cIt appears that this level of participation ensured healthy competition in many markets, with the largest markets generally having more than 25 rounds of competitive bidding and 20 markets with 40 or more rounds of competitive bidding,\u201d Richard Engelman, a consultant at Washington, D.C., law firm Wiley, said in a statement.\n\nTraditionally, bidding for licensed airwaves has been dominated by the major mobile-network service providers, but the CBRS auction was far more granular, and drew a more diverse set of bidders. Enterprises looking to implement private 5G or LTE networks independent of the big cellular providers were among the hopefuls for licenses, as well as companies hoping to arbitrage spectrum holdings in the future.\nThe CBRS PAL licenses work somewhat differently from the usual FCC licenses for spectrum. Instead of granting exclusive access to the particular spectrum in the assigned area, the priority access license merely grants preferential status. So a PAL license-holder\u2019s signals will take priority over unlicensed (or general authorized access (GAA) users in the area covered by the license.\nThe incumbent users of the CBRS band \u2013 mostly the U.S. Navy \u2013 retain priority over both PAL and GAA users. The whole setup is managed by an automated spectrum-access system that detects and prioritizes signals based on license level in a given area.\nThe list of which bidders won which licenses will likely be released within about a week, Engleman said.