Ofcom To Sell 2.3GHz And 3.4GHz For 4G And IoT In Early 2016

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Ofcom finalises plans to sell 190MHz of spectrum, with a combined reserve price of £70m

Ofcom has finalised plans for the auction of 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bandwidth vacated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and will sell off the airwaves, ideal for mobile broadband services, in early 2016.

The regulator will sell 190MHz worth of spectrum in lots of 10MHz for 2.3GHz and 5MHz for the 3.4GHz band. A reserve price of £10 million per lot for the former band and £1 million for the latter has been set.

Both bands are capable of carrying large amounts of data and it is claimed the amount of spectrum available is equivalent to three quarters of that sold at the auction of 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies in 2013.

Read More: What is 5G?

Spectrum auction

using smartphone mobile phoneThe 2.3GHz band is used for 4G in a number of non-European countries while 3.4GHz is used for wireless broadband in a number of countries. In the UK, Relish’s home broadband service makes use of the band.

No cap will be set as to how much bidders can buy as Ofcom believes this will discourage interest parties from buying large blocks of adjacent spectrum that can be used for very fast download speeds ahead of the rollout of 5G services.

Ofcom has identified ’25 times’ the amount of spectrum currently used for mobile to support growing demand for 4G and for future services like the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Spectrum is the essential resource which fuels the UK’s wireless economy,” said Philip Marnick, Ofcom Spectrum Group Director. “This auction is an important step in ensuring that the UK has the wireless capability to deliver and support new technology.

“We’re responding to rapid change and innovation in the communications sector, which is placing greater demands on spectrum. Part of our plan to meet this demand is by making new spectrum available and allowing it to be used in a number of different ways.”

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