British telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced the finalising of regulations relating to the planned award of spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.6GHz-3.8GHz bands. Having previously published a statement setting out its decisions for the release of frequencies in the aforementioned bands in March 2020, at that date the watchdog published a final draft of the regulations which would implement its decisions. Now, in its most recent update, it has confirmed that the final regulations which implement its decisions – the ‘Wireless Telegraphy (Licence Award) Regulations 2020’, dated 3 November – will enter into force on 18 November.
The regulator said it will now proceed with preparations to hold the auction ‘as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’. To that end, Ofcom has said it will work with all interested bidders to ensure the auction can proceed in a safe and secure way, while it has suggested that, in light of the practical steps that need to be taken in this regard, it is currently aiming for a formal start to the auction process in late November, with a view to starting bidding in mid-January 2021.