Monday, July 23, 2012

UK Sets LTE Auction – 800MHz and 2.6 GHz band

Ofcom, the telecoms regulator for the UK, announced its largest ever auction of spectrum for mobile services-- the equivalent of three quarters of the mobile spectrum in use today – some 80% more than released in the 3G auction which took place in 2000. The auction of spectrum for LTE is set to get underway before the end of the year.

Key details of the auction have now been confirmed, including plans to reserve some of the available spectrum for a fourth national wholesaler other than the three largest mobile operators.

The 4G auction will offer at least two spectrum bands – 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. The lower frequency 800 MHz band is part of the 'digital dividend', which is ideal for widespread mobile coverage. The higher frequency 2.6 GHz band is ideal for delivering the capacity needed to deliver faster speeds. These two bands add up to 250 MHz of additional mobile spectrum, compared to 333 MHz in use today.


The spectrum bands will be auctioned to bidders as a series of lots. One of the 800 MHz lots of spectrum will carry an obligation to provide a mobile broadband service for indoor reception to at least 98% of the UK population by the end of 2017 at the latest.


Mobile operators are expected to start rolling out 4G networks using the auctioned spectrum from the middle of 2013, and to start offering 4G services to consumers later that year.


Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “The 4G auction has been designed to deliver the maximum possible benefit to consumers and citizens across the UK. As a direct result of the measures Ofcom is introducing, consumers will be able to surf the web, stream videos and download email attachments on their mobile device from almost every home in the UK.�?

http://www.ofcom
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/

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