Ofcom has announced the outcome of the principal stage of its auction to release airwaves for 4G mobile and future 5G services.
We have been running an auction of airwaves – or spectrum – in two frequency bands:
Ofcom has duties to promote competition and manage the use of spectrum efficiently, and the auction has been designed to achieve this.
Five companies are taking part in the auction. The principal stage, which has just ended, involved 34 ‘lots’ of spectrum being made available across the two bands.
Ofcom has today confirmed the amount of spectrum won in the principal stage by each company.
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.
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, we will issue the winning bidders with licences to use the relevant spectrum within a few days, allowing them to begin putting it to use. We expect to publish the final auction results shortly after.
Philip Marnick, Spectrum Group Director at Ofcom: “This is good news for everyone who uses their mobile phone to access the internet. As a nation we’re using ever more mobile data on smartphones and mobile devices. Releasing these airwaves will make it quicker and easier to get online on the move. It will also allow companies to prepare for 5G mobile, paving the way for a range of smart, connected devices.”
The spectrum auction is one part of Ofcom’s work to improve mobile services. We are also requiring mobile companies to extend their networks as more airwaves are released next year. We are working with Government to make it easier for companies to install masts. And we are legalising ‘mobile repeaters’ – devices that help boost mobile reception in people’s homes.