Ofcom has set out how it will run the auction for awarding licences for millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum.

In September, the regulator confirmed that it will open the 26 GHz and 40 GHz spectrum bands to mobile technology, including 5G services.

Opening up these spectrum bands can improve mobile services – particularly capacity and speeds in cities and major towns – as well as enabling wireless applications that require large amounts of data, very high speeds, or both.

Ofcom has confirmed that three categories of spectrum lots will be auctioned: 26 GHz lower (25.1-26.5 GHz), 26 GHz upper (26.5-27.5 GHz), and 40 GHz (40.5-43.5 GHz).

Each lot will comprise of a block of 200 MHz, with reserve prices set at £2 million for each lot of 26 GHz lower and 26 GHz upper, and £1 million for each lot of 40 GHz.

The auction will be run in two stages. The principal stage will decide the quantity of spectrum each bidder will be allocated. This will be followed by an assignment stage which will decide the precise frequencies allocated to each winner.

An Ofcom spokesperson said, “Having assessed the available evidence, we do not propose to include a negotiation period for winners to agree that their respective allocations will be adjacent in the assignment stage.

“We will, however, consider any further evidence – which must be submitted to us by 9 January 2024 – before reaching a final decision on this aspect of the auction design.”

Responses to Ofcom’s consultation can be submitted here.