Ofcom kick off first 5G auction

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The regulator has opened the bidding for the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz  bands, the latter earmarked for the initial rollout of 5G.

Ofcom has kicked off the spectrum auction for the airwaves to be used for 5G.

Two bands are open for bidding from five different companies, the 2.3GHz band that can be put into action immediately and the 3,4GHz band that has been earmarked as the first bandwidth for 5G.

EE, Telefonica UK, Hutchinson 3G UK, Vodafone and Airspan Spectrum Holdings will be bidding on ‘lots’ of spectrum throughout the course of the auction in the coming weeks with the value being determined on demand.

In total 190MHz of spectrum will be auctioned off split up into 40MHz of 2.3GHz bandwidth and 150MHz of the 3.4GHz band with Ofcom enforcing two restrictions during the auction. EE can not bid on any of the 2.3GHz spectrum and a 37 per cent cap on all the bidders is in place for the 3.4GHz band.

Ofcom spectrum group director Philip Marnick, said: “Our job is to release these airwaves quickly and efficiently, and we want to see them in use as soon as possible.

“We are glad the auction is now underway. This spectrum will help improve people’s experience of using mobile broadband today, and also help companies prepare for future 5G services.”

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