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Ofcom Announces Results of Auction for Mobile 4G & 5G Spectrum

5G

Ofcom has announced the outcome of the principal stage of its auction to release airwaves for 4G mobile and future 5G services.

The regulator has been running an auction of airwaves – or spectrum – in two frequency bands: 2.3 GHz, which is usable by current mobile phones and will help improve 4G capacity for today’s mobile users; and 3.4 GHz, which is one of the spectrum bands earmarked for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology.

With the principal stage of the auction now complete, Ofcom has today confirmed the amount of spectrum won in the principal stage by each company.

  • Airspan Spectrum Holdings Limited has not won spectrum in either band.
  • EE Limited has won 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £302,592,000.
  • Hutchison 3G UK Limited has won 20 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £151,296,000.
  • Telefónica UK Limited has won all 40 MHz of 2.3 GHz spectrum available, at a cost of £205,896,000; and 40 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £317,720,000.
  • Vodafone Limited has won 50 MHz of 3.4 GHz spectrum at a cost of £378,240,000.

The total value of the principal stage is £1,355,744,000, with all money raised from the auction to be paid to HM Treasury.

Next steps

Ofcom will now move to the ‘assignment’ stage, which is the last bidding stage of the auction. This is a short process, which allows companies who have won spectrum in the principal stage to bid to determine where in the frequency bands their new spectrum will be located.

After the end of the assignment stage, Ofcom will issue the winning bidders with licences to use the relevant spectrum within a few days, allowing them to begin putting it to use. It is expected the final auction results will be published shortly after.

Last week UK5G was launched to support the development of the UK as a global leader in the development and adoption of 5G.

Endorsed and funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the UK5G innovation network will bring together organisations across the 5G eco-system, including our research base, technology providers, investment, regulators and, crucially, vertical industry partners yet to appreciate the benefits of next generation connectivity.

Bob Driver, CEO of Cambridge Wireless (CW) and lead UK5G partner said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for the UK to build and enhance its position in the implementation of the next generation of mobile communication – and the end-goal is to help these technologies rapidly transform our societies and economic performance. We encourage all interested parties to become involved in the building of this community.”

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With 35 years under his belt in communications & IT, Ian brings his channel experience from BT, France Telecom and Avaya fully to bear in our editorial content and events.

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