Ofcom confirms radio spectrum auction

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has confirmed details of plans to auction radio spectrum which can be used for mobile TV and satellite radio. The provisional deadline for applications is April 10, with the auction for the spectrum likely to begin at the end of April.

Spectrum licenses have swelled Government coffers considerably in recent years. In the first round of 3G licensing in 2000, UK operators stumped up a total of £22.5bn, but auctions for new spectrum are unlikely to hit those highs.

The spectrum to be auctioned in April is in the 1452-1492MHz band, also known as the L-Band, and can be also be used for broadband wireless access. The release of this spectrum is part of a wider programme to release around 400MHz of prime spectrum.

Further releases of spectrum under this programme include the digital dividend – the spectrum left over from the switch from analogue television to digital – and the 2.6GHz band. Ofcom say the auction of digital dividend will provide up to £10bn to the economy as a result of the increase of new media offerings it will bring.

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