EE launches new 5G spectrum post UK auction

EE 2021 spectrum.jpg

EE, the mobile subsidiary of BT, has launched new 5G spectrum following the second assignment stage of Ofcom’s auction in March of 2021.

Back in May 2019, EE won 80MHz overall of the 700MHz and 3.6GHz bands that were on offer. Following this latest auction, EE secured 40MHz of 3.6GHz spectrum, securing a piece of the 3.4-3.8GHz launch band for 5G, doubling current holdings. As a result, EE has already carried out work on a number of sites to allow the new spectrum to launch.

EE also secured 20MHz of paired and a further 20MHz of unpaired 700MHz spectrum. 700MHz is new to 5G services in the UK but is already widely used in Europe. It will support wider and deeper 5G coverage, including indoors. EE will deploy the 20MHz of paired spectrum over the coming years.

“Spectrum is the most vital investment a mobile network can make; the more a network has, the better the experience it can deliver. We’re pleased to have secured significant new capacity for the EE network at an excellent price,” said Marc Allera, CEO of consumer division at BT.

“Combined with our existing portfolio, this new acquisition of valuable low and mid frequency spectrum will mean the EE network is set up well for the future, and can continue to provide customers with the best and most extensive 5G network in the UK.”

BT Group, through EE, invested £452 million to secure the new spectrum last month before placing “assignment bids” with Ofcom and taking part in negotiations with other networks to establish the exact in-band position of the newly won capacity. EE has secured positions within the respective spectrum bands for an additional £23 million cost, taking the total investment to £475 million in total.