Ofcom will auction off spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.6GHz bands

The UK’s telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has confirmed that it will hold an auction for low and mid band 5G spectrum in the spring of 2020.

The regulator will hold auctions for spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands, to help UK operators ramp up their initial 5G network offerings. The plans for the auction are currently under a period of public consultation until the 9th of December, after which time Ofcom will publish final details.

We’re pressing ahead with plans to release vital airwaves to improve mobile services for customers. Together with mobile companies’ commitments to improve coverage, this will help more areas get better services and help the UK maintain its place as a leader in 5G," said Philip Marnick, spectrum group director at Ofcom.

In light of the government’s recent announcement that it would back a £1 billion shared rural network, part funded by the UK MNOs, to boost rural connectivity, it has subsequently dropped the minimum service obligations that would have been attached to spectrum at this auction.

The UK regulator has not yet confirmed when it will auction the high band, mmWave spectrum that will enable mobile network operators to offer the truly transformative speeds of 1Gbps and above.

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