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Public Sector Spectrum Release Announced

Last week, telecommunications regulator Ofcom announced that it would be making spectrum in the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz bands, previously used by the Ministry of Defence, available for other uses through the Last week, telecommunications regulator Ofcom announced that it would be making spectrum in the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz bands, previously used by the Ministry of Defence, available for other uses through the public sector spectrum release programme – the intent is to make 500MHz of bandwidth available by 2020 to help cope with demand generated by mobile data services.

On 26th October, Ofcom published details of how the spectrum will be auctioned, and will be setting a total reserve price of £70 million for the 190MHz of spectrum, which is ideal for mobile broadband. The auction is expected to take place in 2016 and potential bidders are already gearing up to participate.

The spectrum is anticipated to be auctioned in four lots of 10 MHz between 2350 MHz and 2390 MHz and thirty lots of 5 MHz between 3410 MHz and 3480 MHz, with no limit on the amount of spectrum any bidder can purchase.  Further lots may be available between 3410 MHz and 3600 MHz subject to the actions of incumbent licensees.  Reserve prices for the lots are set at £1 million per MHz in the 2.3 GHz band, and £200k per MHz in the 3.4 GHz band.

Ofcom is currently seeking responses on its proposed regulations to cover the auction process, the deadline for which is 27th November 2015.  The consultation document is available at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/notice-2.3-3.4-ghz-spectrum/

 

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