MOD confirms plans to auction off wireless frequencies

19 Dec 2012

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) has unveiled plans to sell off around 200MHz of spectrum, all of which is below 15GHz, which it claims is ‘regarded as the most useful and valuable part of the radio spectrum because of its wide range of applications’. With the MOD confirming that it holds around three quarters of all publically held spectrum, and a third of all frequencies below 15GHz, the sale falls in line with the government’s previously announced plans; in its 2010 spending review the state said that at least 500MHz of public spectrum below 15GHz will be released by 2020 for new mobile communications uses.

In terms of a timeline for the sale process, the MOD notes that the spectrum in question is currently being cleared of military users, and preparations for the auction itself are expected to get underway at the end of 2013, with the sale likely to be completed by mid-2014. Ahead of such developments, the MOD has confirmed it plans to publish a brochure in the early part of next year for interested parties, while it will hold an industry day in ‘early summer 2013’.

Commenting on the plans, Philip Dunne, the UK’s minister for defence equipment, support and technology, noted: ‘We welcome this opportunity to free up much-needed spectrum. We hope that the sale will help drive the rollout of new generation networks and universal access to broadband, both of which are vital to the UK’s prosperity.’

United Kingdom