Ofcom awards 12 licences following spectrum auction

03 May 2006

03 May 2006

Ofcom today confirmed that it has awarded 12 Wireless Telegraphy Act licences for the frequencies 1781.7-1785MHz paired with 1876.7-1880MHz as a result of its first spectrum auction.

Following payment of the full licence fees by the winning bidders, the awards are effective immediately. The licences are technology neutral, which means that the licensees have the freedom to use the spectrum how they wish, within certain technical limits.

The licences are for a total of 6.6MHz of spectrum to be used on a low-power basis. Possible uses include private GSM mobile phone networks in office buildings or campuses.

Multiple licences were awarded to encourage the development of a range of new and innovative competitive services. The following companies were each awarded a licence having bid and paid the amount stated:

  • British Telecommunications PLC £275,112
  • Cable & Wireless UK ( England) £51,002
  • COLT Mobile Telecommunications Ltd £1,513,218
  • Cyberpress Ltd £151,999
  • FMS Solutions Ltd £113,000
  • Mapesbury Communications Ltd £76,660
  • O2 (UK) Ltd £209,888
  • Opal Telecom Ltd £155,555
  • PLDT ( UK) Ltd £88,889
  • Shyam Telecom UK Ltd £101,011
  • Spring Mobil AB £50,110
  • Teleware PLC £1,001,880

The total amount of the licence fees paid was £3.8million. Two bidders - Orange Personal Communications Ltd (bid £50,000) and Zynetix Ltd (bid £50,000) - were not awarded licences because they were outbid in the auction process.

The single-round sealed bid auction took place on 20 April 2006 at Ofcom's offices at Riverside House in London.

Section 3(2) of the Communications Act 2003 requires Ofcom to secure the optimal use of the spectrum and the availability of a wide range of electronic communication services.

This was the first spectrum auction held by Ofcom. In July 2005 Ofcom consulted on the auction of this spectrum band. Ofcom received a number of responses and in November it published draft regulations for the award, along with an Information Memorandum.