Ofcom announces final results of 5G spectrum auction

Ofcom has announced the final results of its 5G auction. The  for spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz bands.

The regulator has granted licences to the four bidders for the following frequencies:

  • EE – 723-733 MHz and 778-788 MHz; 738-758 MHz; and 3680-3720 MHz.
  • Three – 713-723 MHz and 768-778 MHz.
  • Telefónica UK (O2) – 703-713 MHz and 758-768 MHz; and 3760-3800 MHz.
  • Vodafone – 3720-3760 MHz.

The principal stage, announced back in March, determined how much spectrum each of the four bidders – EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone – had secured in both of the bands, and how much they had committed to pay. The subsequent assignment stage allowed the companies to bid for the specific frequency positions they preferred for these airwaves.

Winners of spectrum in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band also had the opportunity to negotiate their spectrum positions among themselves. Telefónica UK Limited and Vodafone Limited entered into an agreement during this period and agreed a deal to trade bands to create more efficient blocks of 5G spectrum. The two companies already share mast infrastructure.

Ahmed Essam, CEO of Vodafone UK, explained, “The result of this auction and our agreement with O2 will help us continue our mission of connecting our customers for a better future. It means we have the best possible spectrum to continue giving our customers a fast and reliable 5G service. It will also enable us to open up amazing new possibilities for our enterprise customers, putting Britain at the forefront of innovation in vital areas like assisted surgery, remote training, and factory automation.”

Philip Marnick, group director, spectrum at Ofcom, said, “Now the auction is complete, these companies can use these airwaves to rapidly rollout better mobile services to people across the UK. This additional spectrum will also support the ongoing launch of new 5G connections for people and businesses. Importantly, the bidders also have the flexibility to make trades, so they can optimise use of the spectrum they have won in the auction with their existing airwaves.”

Ofcom said the total revenue of the auction, including the £23 million raised in the assignment stage, is £1,379,400,000. All money will be paid to HM Treasury.

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Charlotte Hathway

Charlotte is the editor of Comms Business and writes about the latest technology innovations and business developments across the Channel. Got a story? Get in touch – charlotte.hathway@markallengroup.com.

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