Ofcom postpones spectrum auction for 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz bands

Ofcom today said it aims to conduct selling 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz frequency bands during the spectrum auction in March 2021.
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The frequency bands are likely to be used by mobile network operators to deliver a range of services, including 5G mobile, Ofcom said.

Ofcom said the delivery period for applications to participate in the auction has now closed.

“Throughout our planning for the auction we have been closely monitoring the coronavirus situation. Following a pause in the auction process, we are now planning for the principal stage of the auction (the start of bidding) to begin in March 2021. We will continue to monitor developments,” Ofcom said in a statement on Monday.

BT said the company is disappointed the auction will now be delayed though it understands the unique circumstances.

“The auction and release of spectrum remains central to the future rollout of mobile networks and 5G. The economy’s recovery from Covid-19 is dependent on digital infrastructure and we urge Ofcom to resist any further requests for delays,” BT spokesperson said.