Regulator kicks off spectrum auction
Written by: Philip Mason | Published:

Ofcom has begun the process of auctioning spectrum, in order to prepare for future broadband services. The five companies approved to bid during the auction include Airspan Spectrum Holdings, EE, Hutchison 3G UK, Telefonica UK, and Vodafone.

The available spectrum is in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands, the latter of which is earmarked specifically for 5G. According to the regulator, companies will bid for ‘lots’ of spectrum over a series of rounds, a process which could take several weeks depending on the level of demand. Forty MHz will be available in the 2.3 band, with 150 MHz in 3.4.

Speaking of the auction, Philip Marnick, Ofcom’s spectrum group director said: “Our job is to release these airwaves quickly and efficiently, and we want to see them in use as soon as possible.

"We are glad the auction is now underway. This spectrum will help improve people’s experience of using mobile broadband today, and also help companies prepare for future 5G services.”

Because of a cap relating to the amount of spectrum allowed to be held by any one operator, EE - which currently has the most - will not be able to bid in the 2.3 GHz band. A second, overall, cap will be in place following the auction.


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