Ofcom to auction 2010MHz band for mobile broadband use; sale likely next year

17 Feb 2011

The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, has said that unused wireless radio spectrum in the 2010MHz-2025MHz band could be used for mobile broadband services in the longer term. The watchdog has released the results of its May 2010 consultation on the potential applications for the spectrum, and has revealed that it plans to award the spectrum via auction, with a further consultation on the details of an award to be held as soon as practicable. The earliest expected award of the frequencies is in around a year’s time.

According to Ofcom, it received ten responses to the original consultation, and while there was some interest in opening the spectrum band for wireless cameras or allocating it to Program Making and Special Events (PMSE), a number of submissions ‘produced evidence of demand for mobile broadband services, and argued implicitly or explicitly in favour of a competitive award’. Further, the regulator also cited evidence of demand for mobile services from the German spectrum auction in May 2010, which saw frequencies in the 2010MHz band sold for a notable figure. In the interim, the regulator has, however, noted that it will allow ‘temporary use of the band for PMSE pending a competitive award and to making the band available for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games’.

United Kingdom, Ofcom