In March, Ofcom unveiled plans to award spectrum within the 26GHz and 40GHz bands for 5G and different cell applied sciences
U.Ok. telecom regulator Ofcom confirmed plans to award millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum however introduced it won’t maintain an public sale till a call has been made by the nation’s competitors authorities on a proposed merger between native carriers Vodafone and Three UK.
Ofcom famous it determined to delay the timelines that it had outlined in March to carry the public sale for metropolis licenses within the 26 GHz and 40 GHz bands for 5G and different cell applied sciences within the first quarter of subsequent yr.
With the proposed merger between Vodafone and Three UK introduced in June, the regulator stated it doesn’t anticipate a call from the Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) till September 2024.
“To keep away from the chance of an inefficient allocation of spectrum, we have now determined to delay commencing the public sale course of. Subsequently, we won’t start the public sale course of till the CMA has taken its resolution on the proposed merger. We due to this fact don’t anticipate the award course of to start earlier than Q3 FY 2024/25,” Ofcom stated
When a call on the merger is reached, Ofcom stated it’s going to go forward with a plan to public sale six gigahertz of frequencies within the two bands, awarding licenses for 15-year phrases.
Ofcom had beforehand stated that the brand new spectrum will enable cell operators to spice up cell providers in areas and venues with numerous cell customers, resembling prepare stations, soccer stadiums and live shows.
“Within the 68 main cities and cities, through which we expects the best quantity of mmWave deployment, we’ll each: assign native licenses on a primary come, first served foundation, utilizing our Shared Entry licensing framework and award citywide licenses by public sale,” Ofcom stated.
“Elsewhere within the U.Ok., we anticipate deployments to be sparser, and so we’ll assign native licenses on a primary come, first served foundation, utilizing our Shared Entry licensing framework,” Ofcom added.
Ofcom stated it intends to publish later this yr an announcement and additional session setting out its selections and additional proposals on the design of the public sale and a draft of the public sale rules.
In Might 2021, the U.Ok. accomplished its most up-to-date 5G spectrum public sale, elevating a complete of £ 1.35 billion (at the moment $1.65 billion).
On this course of, cell operator EE secured 2×10 megahertz of paired frequency spectrum within the 700 MHz band at a value of £280 million; 20 megahertz of supplementary downlink spectrum within the 700 MHz band at a value of £4 million; and 40 megahertz within the 3.6-3.8 GHz band at a value of £168 million.
Three UK paid £280 million for two×10 megahertz of paired frequency spectrum within the 700 MHz band, whereas O2 secured 2×10 megahertz of paired frequency spectrum within the 700 MHz band at a value of £280 million; and 40 megahertz within the 3.6-3.8 GHz band at a value of £168 million.
In the meantime, Vodafone paid £176.4 million for 40 megahertz within the 3.6-3.8 GHz band.
In 2019, U.Ok. telcos additionally obtained spectrum for the supply of 5G providers. These frequencies enabled the operators to launch 5G providers in 2019, making the U.Ok. one of the crucial developed markets in Europe by way of 5G deployments.