Ofcom fixes 4G spectrum auction conditions
Four years late due to squabbling among the operators, Ofcom has set out the conditions for the 4G spectrum auction which protect 3.
Ofcom wants a fourth national operator besides Vodafone, Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) and O2. This fourth player could be 3, but it could be another, new, player.
The auction is for 800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum. Bidders will not be able to buy more than 2 x 105MHz across the entire spectrum, or more than 2 x 27.5MHz below 1GHz.
2G/3G uses 333MHz of spectrum and this auction will add another 250MHz.
Ofcom says it wants to hold the auction this year.
Everything Everywhere still wants to launch LTE services on its existing, 3G, 1800MHz spectrum. Ofcom originally encouraged the idea but has backed off in the face of threatened lawsuits from the other operators. It final decision is still awaited.
There is concern that further rows will occur when LTE interferes with TV broadcasts.