Ofcom awards low-power wireless spectrum

4 May 2006

UK regulator Ofcom has confirmed the award of Wireless Telegraphy Licences to twelve companies. The concessions are for 6.6MHz of spectrum which will be operated on a low-power basis in the 1781.7MHz-1785MHz paired with 1876.7MHz-1880MHz bands. The licences are technology neutral but many are expected to be used for private GSM networks in office buildings or campuses. Ofcom provisionally announced the winning bidders last month and has granted all twelve permits this week, following full payment of the required licence fees. The concessions are available for use immediately.

Concessions were awarded to BT Group (which paid GBP275,112 (USD505,534) for its licence), Cable & Wireless UK (GBP51,002), COLT Mobile Telecommunications (GBP1.513 million), Cyberpress (GBP151,999), FMS Solutions (GBP113,000), Mapesbury Communications (GBP76,660), O2 UK (GBP209,888), Opal Telecom (GBP155,555), PLDT UK (GBP88,889), Shyam Telecom UK (GBP101,111), Spring Mobil (GBP50,110) and Teleware (GBP1.001 million). The total amount raised from the auction was GBP3.8 million, Ofcom said.

Cable & Wireless UK (C&W) was one of the first winners to announce its plans for the spectrum. The company says it will use the licence to enable it to offer a converged fixed-mobile telephony service to corporate users. It said its customers have long requested such a service offering the convenience of a single handset, bill and supplier. The converged service will result in savings of between 20% and 30% on users’ mobile telephony bills, C&W said.