Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Releasing airwaves for mobile services next year

29/10/2019

Releasing airwaves for mobile services next year Add to Your Pages

28 October 2019

Ofcom updates on proposals to auction new frequencies

Airwaves will help improve coverage, boost network capacity and support rollout of 5G

Ofcom has today announced updated proposals to release crucial airwaves to meet growing demand for mobile broadband and support the rollout of 5G.

Ofcom manages the UK's airwaves or spectrum a finite resource that is essential for wireless services including mobile phones.

To help improve mobile services and enable more people and businesses to access 5G networks, we are planning to release more mobile airwaves through an auction in spring 2020.

Improving mobile coverageIn December 2018 we proposed including coverage obligations in our auction rules. These would have required mobile companies to increase coverage in rural areas, in exchange for winning discounted spectrum through the auction.

Following this, the four mobile network operators BT/EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have discussed with Government and Ofcom an alternative Shared Rural Network' plan to deliver good quality 4G coverage to at least 92% of the UK over six years.

On 25 October, the Government announced that the companies had each committed to reaching this target. The Government has also confirmed it will provide 500 million of funding for the plan. Ofcom welcomes this agreement, which we believe will provide significant benefits to mobile users across the UK.

To make sure mobile companies stick to the commitments, we will write binding conditions into their spectrum licences. Ofcom will also monitor, and report, on their progress in meeting the new commitments.

In light of the commitments, we are no longer proposing to include coverage obligations in our auction. This is because through the companies working together, the agreement will achieve higher coverage than the requirements we could have set through an auction. So we have today published updated proposals for how our mobile auction will work.

Airwaves being releasedThe auction will involve companies bidding for spectrum in two different frequency bands.

The 700 MHz band. We are releasing 80 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band. These airwaves are ideal for providing good-quality mobile coverage, both indoors and across very wide areas including the countryside. Releasing these airwaves will also boost the capacity of today's mobile networks offering customers a more reliable service.

The 3.6-3.8 GHz band. We are releasing 120 MHz of spectrum in 3.6-3.8 GHz band. These important airwaves are part of the primary band for 5G and are capable of carrying lots of data-hungry connections in concentrated areas. All four of the biggest mobile companies have launched 5G this year, and releasing these airwaves will help increase the capacity and quality of mobile data services.

How the auction will workOfcom has today revised its proposals for next year's auction, in line with our objectives to ensure the efficient and timely allocation of spectrum.

For next year's auction, we plan to use a format known as simultaneous multiple round ascending'. This approach, which is similar to our 2018 spectrum auction, involves two stages. It would work like this:

Principal stage. Companies first bid for airwaves in separate lots' to determine how much spectrum each company wins.

Assignment stage. Then there is a round of bidding to determine the specific frequencies that winning bidders will be allocated.

Winners of 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum will have an opportunity within the assignment stage to negotiate their placements within the band among themselves. This will make it more straightforward for bidders to join together the new spectrum they win with their existing holdings, and potentially reduce the level of fragmentation' in the wider 3.4-3.8 GHz band.

Supporting competitionOfcom has a duty to ensure spectrum is used efficiently. We also ensure companies can compete fairly and customers have a strong choice of mobile networks. So to maintain strong competition, we are still proposing to place a 37% cap on the overall spectrum that any one mobile company can hold following the auction. Promoting strong competition between mobile companies is important because it leads to better services for customers.[2]

Philip Marnick, Spectrum Group Director at Ofcom, said: We're pressing ahead with plans to release vital airwaves to improve mobile services for customers. Together with mobile companies' commitments to improve coverage, this will help more areas get better services and help the UK maintain its place as a leader in 5G.

Next stepsWe welcome responses to our proposals by 9 December. We then plan to publish our final decisions in early 2020, before starting the auction in the spring.

NOTES TO EDITORS

The spectrum would be made available for bids in the following lots:

Six lots of 2x5 MHz (60 MHz in total) in the 700 MHz band with a reserve price in the proposed range of 100m-240m per lot.

Four lots of 5 MHz (20 MHz in total) of 700 MHz downlink-only spectrum, with a proposed reserve price of 1m per lot.

24 lots of 5 MHz (120 MHz in total) of 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum, with a reserve price in the proposed range of 15m-25m per lot.

As we are not planning to include coverage obligations anymore, the two spectrum lots that carried a proposed maximum discount each of between 300-400m will no longer apply.

The 37% cap on overall spectrum holdings has the effect of restricting existing mobile companies to acquiring the following amounts:

BT/EE - 120 MHz BT/EE;

H3G - 185 MHz;

Vodafone - 190 MHz;

Due to its current spectrum holdings, O2 will not be restricted by the cap.

The 700 MHz band is currently used for digital terrestrial TV and wireless microphones. The 3.6-3.8 GHz band is
LINK: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__search/s/redirect?collection=web&url=https:...
See more stories from ofcom

More from OFCOM

21/11/2019

Ofcom's Mansoor Hanif to step down

Ofcoms Mansoor Hanif to step down Add to Your Pages 21 November 2019 Ofcom has today announced that Mansoor Hanif has stepped down from his role as Chie...

07/11/2019

Ofcom appoints Jonathan Oxley as interim Chief Executive

Ofcom appoints Jonathan Oxley as interim Chief Executive Add to Your Pages 06 November 2019 The Ofcom Board has today announced that Jonathan Oxley will...

29/10/2019

Releasing airwaves for mobile services next year

Releasing airwaves for mobile services next year Add to Your Pages 28 October 2019 Ofcom updates on proposals to auction new frequencies Airwaves wil...

25/10/2019

Ofcom welcomes mobile firms' agreement to build a shared rural network'

Ofcom welcomes mobile firms' agreement to build a shared rural network' Add to Your Pages 25 October 2019 Ofcom spokesperson: We warmly welc...

24/10/2019

BBC risking 'lost generation' as younger audience tunes out

BBC risking lost generation as younger audience tunes out Add to Your Pages 24 October 2019 Reach of BBC TV among 16-24 year-olds drops below 50% for ...

14/10/2019

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from October to December 2017

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from October to December 2017 Add to Your Pages 14 October 2019 TalkTalk most complained-about home broadband and landl...

12/10/2019

Fairer prices for broadband customers

Fairer prices for broadband customers Add to Your Pages 11 October 2019 New measures to protect vulnerable customers from high prices and ensure they ...

10/10/2019

You'll never talk alone: Liverpool stakes claim as Britain's chattiest city

Youll never talk alone: Liverpool stakes claim as Britains chattiest city Add ...

07/10/2019

Ofcom's assessment of BBC Breakfast, BBC One, 17 July 2019

Ofcoms assessment of BBC Breakfast, BBC One, 17 July 2019 Add to Your Pages 07 October 2019 Ofcom has today published its assessment of BBC Breakfast ...

31/08/2019

London calling: Ofcom to release new '(020) 4' phone numbers

London calling: Ofcom to release new (020) 4 phone numbers Add to Your Pages 30 August 2019 10 million new London phone numbers to be made available t...

10/08/2019

Reappointment of Iain Stephen Morrison to MG ALBA board

Reappointment of Iain Stephen Morrison to MG ALBA board Add to Your Pages 09 August 2019 Ofcom has today announced the reappointment of Iain Stephen Mor...

07/08/2019

UK becomes a nation of streamers... but traditional broadcast TV leads the way on UK content

UK becomes a nation of streamers... but traditional broadcast TV leads the way o...

07/08/2019

Wales becomes a nation of streamers

Wales becomes a nation of streamers Add to Your Pages 07 August 2019 Almost half of homes in Wales now take Netflix, Amazon, Now TV or Disney Life Tr...

01/08/2019

Airwaves opened up to support wireless revolution

Airwaves opened up to support wireless revolution Add to Your Pages 25 July 2019 Start-ups and small businesses to get easier access to airwaves for n...

01/08/2019

Radio industry makes progress on diversity, but much further to go

Radio industry makes progress on diversity, but much further to go Add to Your Pages 31 July 2019 Ethnic minorities, disabled people and women in seni...

30/07/2019

Giffgaff fined 1.4m for overcharging customers

Giffgaff fined 1.4m for overcharging customers Add to Your Pages 30 July 2019 Ofcom has today fined the mobile company Giffgaff 1.4m, for overchargi...

30/07/2019

New rules to protect people in TV and radio shows

New rules to protect people in TV and radio shows Add to Your Pages 29 July 2019 Ofcom is today proposing new rules to ensure that people who take par...

26/07/2019

Ofcom fines RT 200,000

Ofcom fines RT 200,000 Add to Your Pages 26 July 2019 Ofcom has today fined the news channel RT 200,000 for serious failures to comply with our broa...

22/07/2019

New measures to increase fairness for mobile customers

New measures to increase fairness for mobile customers Add to Your Pages 22 July 2019 Mobile customers must be told cost of buying handsets and airtim...

19/07/2019

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from July to September 2017

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from July to September 2017 Add to Your Pages 18 July 2019 Ofcom has today published data on the volume of consumer com...

05/07/2019

Hundreds of new digital radio stations for local listeners

Hundreds of new digital radio stations for local listeners Add to Your Pages 05 July 2019 Hundreds of new local digital radio stations could start bro...

28/06/2019

End it with a text: easy mobile switching from Monday

End it with a text: easy mobile switching from Monday Add to Your Pages 28 June 2019 Mobile users can leave current network with a simple text message...

28/06/2019

Ofcom confirms new rules for business networks

Ofcom confirms new rules for business networks Add to Your Pages 28 June 2019 Ofcom has today confirmed final decisions on our reviews of: the physic...

25/06/2019

Ofcom appoints new Chair and members to Advisory Committee for England

Ofcom appoints new Chair and members to Advisory Committee for England Add to Your Pages 25 June 2019 Ofcom today announced the appointment of three n...

18/06/2019

Stamping out unfair practices in telecoms and TV

Stamping out unfair practices in telecoms and TV Add to Your Pages 17 June 2019 New guidelines to help ensure telecoms and TV companies treat customer...

10/06/2019

Rem Noormohamed appointed to Ofcom's Advisory Committee for Wales

Rem Noormohamed appointed to Ofcom's Advisory Committee for Wales Add to Your Pages 10 June 2019 Ofcom today announced the appointment of Rem Noor...

07/06/2019

Countdown to the new broadband safety net

Countdown to the new broadband safety net Add to Your Pages 06 June 2019 Ofcom appoints BT and KCOM to deliver the UKs broadband universal service fro...

07/06/2019

Sharon White to step down as Ofcom Chief Executive

Sharon White to step down as Ofcom Chief Executive Add to Your Pages 06 June 2019 The Ofcom Board has today announced that Sharon White is to step dow...

03/06/2019

Britain's biggest broadband and phone firms to put fairness first

Britains biggest broadband and phone firms to put fairness first Add to Your Pages 03 June 2019 UKs major broadband, mobile, pay-TV and home phone fir...

30/05/2019

People's online experiences revealed

Peoples online experiences revealed Add to Your Pages 29 May 2019 Adults now spend almost 50 days of their year online Increased internet concern, th...

24/05/2019

Further Ofcom rules to support fibre investment

Further Ofcom rules to support fibre investment Add to Your Pages 24 May 2019 New rules give rival firms better access to Openreachs infrastructure M...

16/05/2019

Broadband, phone and pay TV firms must tell customers about their best deals

Broadband, phone and pay TV firms must tell customers about their best deals Add to Your Pages 15 May 2019 New Ofcom rules will help people get the be...

16/05/2019

Ofcom statement on care of programme participants

Ofcom statement on care of programme participants Add to Your Pages 15 May 2019 It's vital that people taking part in reality and factual shows ar...

10/05/2019

Marion Sinclair appointed to MG ALBA board

Marion Sinclair appointed to MG ALBA board Add to Your Pages 09 May 2019 Ofcom has today announced the appointment of Marion Sinclair to the board of ...

09/05/2019

Broadband speeds boost for UK homes

Broadband speeds boost for UK homes Add to Your Pages 08 May 2019 Average broadband speeds rise by a fifth in a year Superfast customers can stream iPl...

04/05/2019

Ofcom appoints two new members to the Advisory Committee for Scotland

Ofcom appoints two new members to the Advisory Committee for Scotland Add to Your Pages 02 May 2019 Ofcom today announced the appointment of two new m...

01/05/2019

Best and worst telecoms customer service revealed

Best and worst telecoms customer service revealed Add to Your Pages 30 April 2019 Ofcom shines a light on major broadband and phone companies performa...

01/04/2019

Money back for broadband and landline customers when things go wrong

Money back for broadband and landline customers when things go wrong Add to Your Pages 31 March 2019 Automatic compensation from 1 April to ensure fai...

11/03/2019

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from April to June 2018

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from April to June 2018 Add to Your Pages 11 March 2019 Complaints about communications providers decline to record low...

09/03/2019

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from July to September 2018

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from July to September 2018 Add to Your Pages 30 January 2019 Ofcom has today published the latest league tables on the...

28/02/2019

Clear, honest information before you buy broadband

Clear, honest information before you buy broadband Add to Your Pages 28 February 2019 New protections are part of Ofcom's work to ensure Fairness ...

29/01/2019

Why children spend time online

Why children spend time online Add to Your Pages 29 January 2019 New research explains how YouTube taps into kids' interests Live' TV remain...

06/01/2019

Ringing the changes: do phone numbers still matter?

Ringing the changes: do phone numbers still matter? Add to Your Pages 05 January 2019 Britons spend half as much time on the landline but use ten ti...

27/12/2018

Most complained about TV programmes of 2018

Most complained about TV programmes of 2018 Add to Your Pages 27 December 2018 Celebrity Big Brother was the television programme that attracted most ...

20/12/2018

Update on investigations into the RT news channel

Update on investigations into the RT news channel Add to Your Pages 20 December 2018 Ofcom has today found that the RT news channel broke broadcasting...

19/12/2018

Ofcom response to the CMA's super-complaint report

Ofcom response to the CMA's super-complaint report Add to Your Pages 19 December 2018 Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's Consumer Group Director, said: ...

18/12/2018

Getting rural areas connected in Wales

Getting rural areas connected in Wales Add to Your Pages 18 December 2018 Mobile and broadband coverage improve, but more progress needed in rural are...

18/12/2018

Getting rural areas connected

Getting rural areas connected Add to Your Pages 18 December 2018 Mobile and broadband coverage improve, but more progress needed in rural areas New O...

14/12/2018

Half of homes could boost their broadband

Half of homes could boost their broadband Add to Your Pages 14 December 2018 Millions could get faster internet today without paying more, research re...

10/12/2018

Ofcom appoints new Content Board member

Ofcom appoints new Content Board member Add to Your Pages 10 December 2018 Ofcom has appointed Stephen Nuttall to its Content Board. Ofcoms Content B...