Uk’s largest spectrum auction

Ofcom today confirmed plans for the UK’s single-largest release of radio spectrum to date, suitable for a range of new services such as mobile broadband and advanced wireless services delivered using WiMAX and 3G technology.
Ofcom will release the spectrum in the 2010-2025 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz bands (known as 2.6 GHz) on a technology and service neutral basis. This will allow organisations to decide how best to use the spectrum within certain minimum technical specifications to prevent harmful interference. In total 205 MHz will be available and Ofcom expects to start the auction process in the summer.

There are a number of potential uses of the 2.6 GHz spectrum including mobile broadband wireless services. These can offer high-speed, high-capacity mobile data connections enabling the delivery of advanced mobile services using technologies such as WiMAX or evolutions of 3G technology.
Details of the award

The auction has been designed to offer the maximum flexibility in the way that the bands can be used and all licences will be tradable.

In comparison to other Ofcom spectrum awards for mobile applications, the properties of the spectrum at 2.6 GHz mean that operators will be able to deploy wireless broadband services offering very high speed and capacity.

The release of this spectrum is part of a wider Ofcom programme to release around 400 MHz of prime spectrum to the market over the next few years, creating opportunities for new innovation and new competition in wireless services.

Recently Ofcom confirmed plans to release spectrum in the so-called L-Band at 1452 – 1492 MHz and is due to consult on further details of the release of the digital dividend, the prime spectrum that will be released through digital television switchover, later in the spring.

Philip Rutnam, Ofcom’s partner in charge of spectrum policy, said: “The release of the 2.6 GHz radio spectrum will create opportunities for fresh innovation, new services and competition for the benefit of consumers in the UK.”

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