UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is launching its delayed 5G 700MHz and 3.6GHz-3.8GHz spectrum licence auction this Friday (12 March 2021), with the aims of improving mobile services and increasing access to 5G technology. Ofcom stated on its website that the auction will increase the total amount of spectrum available for mobile technology in the UK by nearly a fifth.
Four operators will be bidding in the auction: EE, Vodafone, 3 and O2.
Ofcom is releasing 80MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz band, following a four-year programme to clear the band of its existing uses for digital terrestrial TV and wireless microphones. These airwaves are ideal for providing good-quality mobile coverage, both indoors and across very wide areas, including the countryside. Releasing the 700MHz frequencies will also boost the capacity of existing mobile networks. 120MHz of spectrum is up for grabs in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band, which is part of the primary band for 5G and will significantly boost capacity for 5G data connections.