UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced that four applicants have qualified to participate in the upcoming 700MHz and 3.6GHz-3.8GHz spectrum award process. The companies have been named as EE, Hutchison 3G UK, Telefonica UK (operating as O2) and Vodafone. Last month Ofcom finalised the regulations relating to the planned award of spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.6GHz-3.8GHz bands, saying it would 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, the regulator said it planned to work with all interested bidders to ensure the auction can proceed in a safe and secure way, with a view to starting bidding in mid-January 2021. The frequency bands are likely to be used by mobile network operators to deliver a range of services, including 5G mobile.