UK Regulator Defines Rules for 5G Spectrum Auction
Ofcom, UK telecommunications regulator, finalised rules for an upcoming auction of spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.6GHz to 3.8GHz bands. The watcdog announced it will release 80MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz band, and 120MHz in the 3.6GHz to 3.8GHz range, increasing the amount of available mobile airwaves by 18 percent.
The auction will be held in two stages. First will be a principal one which will see operators placing offers for airwaves separately to determine the amount of spectrum they get. The second one will be an assignment phase involving a round of bidding to decide on the specific frequencies which will be allocated. Ofcom said it will let winners of 3.6GHz to 3.8GHz spectrum negotiate their placements within the band between themselves, to give mobile operators the opportunity to create more continuous blocks of 5G-ready spectrum.
Ofcom stated it was looking to maintain strong competition in the market by imposing a 37 percent cap on the overall spectrum available to any one company. Spectrum Group Director at Ofcom Philip Marnick said the move would bring a much-needed capacity boost, as demand for data was continuously soaring. He also stated that the step would help cement the UK’s place as a world leader in 5G.