Ofcom approves 6 companies for 5G spectrum auction

Swisscom and 5GOfcom has revealed the name of six companies that have qualified to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction in the UK.

Ofcom is releasing more airwaves or spectrum to improve broadband for mobile users, and to prepare for the roll out of 5G services in future.

Qualified applicants

Airspan Spectrum Holdings
EE
Connexin
Hutchison 3G
Telefonica
Vodafone

Ofcom will name the final list of companies for the spectrum auction once these companies submit or withdraw their names.

Ofcom said 40 MHz of spectrum will be auctioned in the 2.3 GHz band, which is already supported by current mobile devices and could be used immediately after release.

Ofcom said 150 MHz of spectrum will be auctioned in the 3.4 GHz band. These airwaves are not compatible with most current mobile devices, but are central to the roll out of 5G mobile across Europe.

The auction plans, announced last year, is facing legal challenges by both Three and BT/EE. The High Court rejected these claims in December 2017, and earlier this month, the Court of Appeal refused Three permission to appeal that decision. Ofcom is now pressing ahead with plans to hold the auction as quickly as possible.

“We’re pressing ahead with the auction to make these airwaves available as quickly as possible. It will pave the way for 5G – allowing operators to launch the next generation of mobile technology,” Philip Marnick, Ofcom’s Spectrum Group Director, said.

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