Radio Frequency spectrum auctions in spring 2020

Nov 7, 2019 | News

Ofcom recently announced their updated proposals to release more of the RF frequency spectrum to help improve mobile services and enable more people and businesses to access 5G networks through an auction in spring 2020.

Commitment to improving mobile coverage

Initially Ofcom proposed including coverage obligations in their auction rules but following discussions between mobile operators (BT/EE, O2, Three and Vodafone), the Government and Ofcom an alternative ‘Shared Rural Network’ plan to deliver good quality 4G coverage to at least 92% of the UK over six years was agreed. This agreement is proposed to be included in binding conditions as part of the spectrum licenses which Ofcom will monitor and report on progress.

The frequencies being auctioned

Ofcom are releasing 80 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band. These airwaves are ideal for providing good-quality mobile coverage, including across the countryside and will also boost the capacity of today’s mobile networks.

They are also releasing 120 MHz of spectrum in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band. These important airwaves are part of the primary band for 5G and can carry lots of data-hungry connections in concentrated areas and releasing them will help increase the capacity and quality of mobile data services.

Source Ofcom website 28 October 2019