Over £1.3 billion raised by latest frequency auction, covering former terrestrial TV frequencies and the 3.6-3.8 GHz band.
Ofcom has concluded the second and final stage of an auction designed to make more frequencies available for 5G services in the UK.
In the first stage, EE, Hutchison 3G UK (Three) and Telefonica (O2) secured chunks of the former digital terrestrial TV frequencies. Additionally, EE also won the group of frequencies currently used by Freeview multiplex COM7.
During the second stage, the ‘assignment stage’, Telefonica and Vodafone agreed to trade the spectrum they’ve won in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band. Consequently, Telefonica is expected to gain a continuous block of 80 MHz in this frequency band. Hutchison (Three) did not win any further frequencies in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band, but already had a large chunk as a result of previous auction wins and the takeover of UK Broadband Limited. The larger the chunk of continuous frequencies, the better it is for broadband speeds.
All proceeds from the Ofcom auction will flow to the Treasury. £1.3 billion is relatively little in comparison to previous auctions. Back in 2000, the 3G frequency auction raised over £22 billion.
Auction end result and amounts paid
- EE Limited 723-733 MHz, 738-758 MHz, 778-788 MHz & 3680-3720 MHz. Paid £475,000,000
- Hutchison 3G UK Limited 713-723 MHz and 768-778 MHz. Paid £280,000,000
- Telefónica UK Limited 703-713 MHz, 758-768 MHz, plus 3760-3800 MHz*. Paid £448,000,000
- Vodafone Limited 3720-3760 MHz* Paid: £176,400,000
*to be traded