Ofcom to sell 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum in 2016

27 October 2015 |


UK regulator Ofcom has confirmed plans for a spectrum auction in early 2016 as part of a wider government initiative to free up spectrum for commercial use.

A total of 190MHz of high capacity spectrum will be made available in bands of 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz in an auction which could raise as much as £70 million. 

The 2.3GHz band is presently used for 4G mobile broadband networks in ten countries outside Europe: Australia, China, India, Norway, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Sri Lanka. The 3.4GHz band is already used in countries such as Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

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

“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.”

In addition, Ofcom will set a reserve price on portions of spectrum – £10 million per 10MHz lot in the 2.3GHz and £1 million per 5MHz lot in the 3.4GHz band.